WW2: home front

School children in costume

Arriving as evacuees, pupils experience what life was like during WW2 with a range of activities including washing, make-do and mend, blackouts, bomb disposal and fire-watching.

Curriculum Links

  • KS1 History: Events beyond living memory of national / global significance; Lives of significant individuals
  • KS2 History: A significant turning point in British history
  • KS1-2 Music: Use voices expressively and creatively by singing song, speaking chants and rhymes
  • KS1-2 Design & Technology: Design, make, evaluate; Technical knowledge
  • KS2 Drama: Processed drama

This immersive day is designed to help pupils understand how the war affected people at home, rather than just those sent overseas to fight. They'll identify some of the restrictions people faced, and how they suffered, along with the courage and resilience people needed to survive.

Arriving as evacuees, pupils' are able to recognise the impact of being uprooted from their family and sent away to the country, and how their lives will be different from now on. They'll experience the need for blackout, and what it was like to shelter during an air-raid with the planes flying overhead and dropping bombs.

Afterwards, we have a rotation of hands-on workshops which include:

  • how rationing impacted on everything, making it essential to 'make do and mend', and what life was like without modern appliances (or even electricity). 
  • how people were trained to deal with the aftermath of bombing raids, and how everyone had their own firefighting equipment.

Group size: Up to one class per day. No minimum group size, however charge will be based on a minimum of 15.

Session duration: Five hours

Location: House and gardens.

Plan your visit

 

 

Example timetable

Children will be encouraged to dress up as evacuees for this interactive workshop.

9.45am Arrival and Welcome (start time can be flexible). Children to split into four groups.

10.00am Pupils will meet the billeting officer, who will explain why they have been evacuated.

The housekeeper will lead a tour round the house, during which time an air raid siren will sound in the blacked-out Crypt, pupils will hear a bombing raid. There will be opportunity to handle objects and discuss how they feel.

11.00am Life in the home

Blackout - Pupils will learn about keeping the house safe from bombing by shutting out the light activities.

12.15pm Lunchtime (location depending on weather)

1.00pm Make do and mend session - Pupils learn about rationing and the concept of make do and mend. having sorted through the washing basket, children will learn how to make rugs from scraps of fabric.

1.45pm Wash day session - Pupils experience 1940s style wash day with soap, scrubbing brushes, wash boards and mangles.

2.30pm Thank you and return to school.

 

Your day, bespoke to you

All Discovery Sessions can be planned to be age appropriate and cross curricular, tailored to your needs. A great way to enjoy learning outside the classroom in a safe and enriching environment.

Start planning your visit