resources: education materials

August 2017

With Remembrance Day coming up this coming Autumn term, we've been thinking about ways to introduce more schools to the white poppy's message of a commitment to peace.

ForcesWatch last year wrote a resource for teachers called 'Rethinking Remembrance Day in Schools', which explores how remembrance can be used to encourage critical thinking and foster a culture of peace, rather than sanitising, simplifying or even glorifying war. We received very positive feedback from teachers on this resource, and we would like to reach more with it this year.

With this new project, the Peace Pledge Union and ForcesWatch will work with local groups around the UK to provide schools with a White Poppies for Schools Pack. The pack includes 100 White Poppies in a display box, alongside an information pack with 10 White Poppy information leaflets and ten Rethinking Remembrance Day resources.

The Information Pack would be ideal for a teacher to leave in the staff room and announce in a staff meeting, and perhaps place a few of the White Poppy information leaflets on noticeboards or near the white poppies.

As small organisations we are unable to give these packs to schools for free - and many schools will not be able to purchase them themselves. So we're reaching out to local organisations or groups committed to peace, and campaigning against militarism and war, to purchase the packs and gift them to a nearby school.

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With the presence of the military in public spaces increasing and a high level of popularity for the armed forces, it is not always easy to respond to challenging questions that people pose in when faced with concerns expressed about militarism. Here we explore some responses to questions about how much the armed forces should be involved in our everyday lives, how they relate to young people, and the effectiveness and consequences of military action.

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January 2017

Science4Society Week is a collection of science education activities, co-ordinated by Scientists for Global Responsibility, and designed to inspire young people. It takes place in March each year.

The activities focus on the contribution that science, design and technology can make to peace, social justice and environmental sustainability. The project was set up to provide an alternative to activities funded by the arms and fossil fuel industries.

The resources include debates and discussions, problem solving and practical activities.

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This paper, published by ForcesWatch in 2016, explores ways in which teaching remembrance in schools can be used as a way of encouraging critical thinking about what and how we remember, and how this can be used to foster a culture of peace.

It discusses the importance of encouraging emotional engagement in the consequences of war and of avoiding euphemistic language that overly sanitises and simplifies its causes and consequences. The paper looks at educational opportunities in exploring the meaning of the white poppy as an alternative to the red poppy and alternatives to violent responses to conflict.

The paper includes some ideas for how to teach remembrance and provides links to education resources and background reading for use around remembrance and wider education for and about peace.

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November 2016

The Peacemakers organisation, who provide peace education for schools, has produced a useful short summary of the basics of teaching controversial issues with a list of other resources on the subject.

More guidance and resources can be found at The Citizenship Foundation.

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November 2016

The Quakers work on peace education, as well as other peace issues - carrying it out in schools and promoting it as a necessary part of the curriculum.

See here for current Quaker projects, peace education resources and their partner organisations.

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November 2016

Veterans for Peace UK is an international chapter of the U.S.network. 

They run workshops in schools and colleges giving an honest view of military life, as well as publish and campaign around military and peace issues. 

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revised 2016

Teach Peace, a new resource from the Peace Education Network, is a set of eight assemblies, follow-up activities, resources, prayers and reflections on peace for primary schools.

From the UN peace day, 21 September, to the International Day for Children as Victims of War, 4 June, the school year is filled with opportunities to use the assemblies and activities in Teach Peace. This resource will help to ensure peace is a key theme in our children’s education and help you to celebrate peace and the peacemakers in your school.

The entire resource is free to download below. Hard copies of Teach Peace are available from the Peace Education Network for £5. Also available in Welsh.

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November 2015

A Remembrance Day assembly for use in schools from the Peace Education Network. The resource also comes as part of the Teach Peace education pack.

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2015

This 2-sided ForcesWatch briefing (updated 2015):

  • outlines the extent and nature of armed forces visits to schools
  • details the Department for Education's 'Military ethos in schools' policy.
  • outlines the concerns about these activities 
  • suggests what students, parents and others can do to challenge them.
June 2015

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The Unseen March - short film made by Quakers in Britain with former SAS Ben Griffin, activist Mark Thomas and educationalists on ‘military ethos’ in schools.

Step by step, a military presence is entering schools across Britain. This is part of a conscious strategy to increase support for the armed forces in the wake of unpopular wars. Quakers in Britain have produced The Unseen March, a short film to start a public debate about the militarisation of education.

There are also briefings, resources and action ideas to accompany the film

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2014

This educational resource investigates the diverse experiences of Australian school communities during the Great War. Each investigation uses primary and secondary sources to look at what students were learning about the British Empire, its Allies and enemies, the consequences on daily life at school, the values taught, the patriotic activities undertaken, the reasons why some students and teachers enlisted and responses to the loss or wounding of people from school communities.

Each investigation has ‘tuning in’ and ‘going further’ learning activities. Additional sources on the CD-ROM are also provided. 

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2014

Quaker Peace and Social Witness has produced two new resources for peace education: Conscience (primary school-focused) and Conviction (secondary school-focused).

Conviction can supplement existing lesson materials in subjects such as History, Religious Education or Citizenship, and be used to support the delivery of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) or Spiritual Moral Social Cultural (SMSC) education.

Through engaging with speaking and listening activities in pairs and groups, children can discuss and reflect on historical source materials including documents, letters, posters and images.

Printed copies are £5 each. Contact the Quaker Centre at quakercentre@quaker.org.uk or telephone: 020 7663 1030. For more information see here

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April 2014

Militarism has existed in the Britain for a long time, but there is a new tide of militarisation that has developed over the last five years. This briefing from Quaker Peace and Social Witness examines government reports, and reveals the government strategy to increase public support for the military, in order to raise the willingness of the public to pay for the military, make recruitment easier, and stifle opposition to unpopular wars.

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2014


A BBC resource. Includes a final section on 'could this happen today'?

At the outbreak of war in 1914, the British Army had 700,000 available men. Germany’s wartime army was over 3.7 million. When a campaign for volunteers was launched, thousands answered the call to fight. Among them were 250,000 boys and young men under the age of 19, the legal limit for armed service overseas.

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2014

Choices Then and Now is a cross curricular resource that suggests strategies for teaching about World War I, recent and current conflicts, extremism and resilience and the choices available to people then and now.

The  full colour booklet provides a scheme of work, differentiated mid term plans and a range of untold  stories to engage  primary, secondary and post sixteen students. The accompanying CD ROM contains limited stories and activities for Key Stage 1 and a wide range of materials for teaching and learning across all phases, largely drawn from items in the Peace Museum UK’s extensive collection. Visit www.peacemuseum.org.uk to find out more about the diverse items in the collection.

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2014

Total war demands total commitment

A BBC Multimedia education resource

World War One was Britain's first total war - meaning that the whole of the British population was needed for the war effort. Millions of young men were asked to head to the battlefield. Hundreds of thousands of workers were recruited to power an industrial war machine. The public had to accept years of hardship and civilian casualties as a price worth paying for victory.

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January 2014

Guardian Data has extracted details of 654 records from the National Archive to look at who conscientiously objected to the first world war and why

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