The government is funding a National Centenary Education Programme which allows two students and one teacher from every state maintained school in England teaching Key Stage 3,4 and/or 5 to travel for free to the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme, and take part in a post tour community project.

Led by UCL Institute of Education, with the tour element provided by school operator Equity Inspiring Learning, the programme mirrors the same values as the Never Such Innocence competition to engage creatively in the commemoration of WW1; deepen understanding of a conflict which impacted upon so many families and communities across Britain and the world; and create an enduring legacy.

Schools should therefore consider combining their free place on the tour with participation in the art and poetry competition. Not only will it provide their students with further insights and the ability to connect more deeply with the battlegrounds by actually being there and experiencing it 100 years on, but it will also ensure their submissions have an even greater resonance through their ability to call upon their first hand experiences.  Those students will return from the tour with resources and ideas to share with their peers, which may serve to inspire more same school entries for the Never Such Innocence competition, whilst at the same time deepening others’ understanding of the significance of the Great War.

Students who go on tour as well as take part in the Never Such Innocence competition and get their work published in their local newspaper, have it displayed in their library, museum or community centre, or present it at an assembly at a feeder school, also have the opportunity to enter the government programme’s ‘Legacy 110’ post tour community project, and will receive a certificate and commemorative pin badge.

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