New military museum engages children's attention

Tristan Mattews, 11, plays with a traditional toy at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

Tristan Mattews, 11, plays with a traditional toy at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

First published in News

PLAYING with the traditional toy of a wooden cup and ball, Tristan Matthews learns about the First World War.

The Five Acres Primary School pupil was taking part in a project with the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock to mark 100 years since the Great War.

The school in Ambrosden has a high proportion of children from service families.

Pupils looked at artefacts from the period and put on a performance for families based on what they learnt.

Tristan, 11, said: “We learnt a lot about what happened in the war and a cup and ball was one of the only toys they had then.

“I enjoyed it when a soldier came in to show us stuff from the war and the things the soldiers had, and when he talked about when they went over the top. It sounded a little bit scary.”

Headteacher Darrell Wood said: “We were invited to take part in a project with the museum, and as almost half of our pupils come from service families, we felt that commemorating the centenary of the First World War was important.

“Many of our parents have served in Afghanistan in recent years – some are still on tour there now.

“The project is a mixture of research, for example using IT to search databases; exploration of artefacts from the museum, and drama. Children have read letters written by the poet Edward Thomas to his children, and his children’s replies, and have created short theatrical pieces in response.”

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