Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day at the Knowledge College

It was a significant day at school today: Yrs 10 & 11 had an important science exam and were on study leave this morning and today is Remembrance Day. That left the 600+ youngsters in Lower School to have their own Remembrance Assembly.

"Bring them down to the Sports Hall at 10.45" we were told.

I had a lovely Yr 9 class and we were making good headway with Religious Myth as a bone fide literary genre when the time came. To what extent these kids had any real awareness of the significance of the day is open to question but they entered the hall in appropriately sombre mood and sat in silent rows while First World War images were projected to the background reading of  war poems.

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

Rupert Brooke

You could have heard a pin drop. Every child wore a poppy and every member of staff was present - teachers, admin staff, technicians and Site Services.

A member of the Music Dept played the Last Post on her trumpet and the two minute silence was absolute. It was incredibly moving and I felt inordinately proud.

Children came forward to light candles and each child named aloud a former pupil who had fallen in combat.

They left in silence to video extracts of soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

We learnt later that traffic on the motorway had spontaneously stopped and that the city centres had ground to a silent halt.

How fitting!