Go anywhere near the tellybox, radio, newspapers, internet or social media at the moment and you’ll be hard pressed to miss the fact that it’s seventy years since the Normandy landings and D Day. As teachers, we know that this coverage provides a rich resource to be tapped to teach all manner of subjects, as well as finding out about the realities of the Second World War. And it’s an opportunity to explore the experiences of members of our families who were alive at the time and to remember them. Cally’s farming family were all engaged in feeding the Home Front during the war, although some of the girls on the farm lost sweethearts on D Day.
Of course this year is also the centenary of the start of the Great War. There has been a well publicised move towards sowing Flanders poppies countrywide as a permanent memorial, neatly tying in with the campaign to sow more wildflowers, which has been prominent since the London 2012 Olympics. The children at our first pilot school have sown a poppy meadow, to which in subsequent years they hope to add annuals like sunflowers and calendula for cutting. We read this week of children who were planting sunflowers to commemorate this anniversary as an alternative to poppies.Both are fabulous ways to connect children with their history and increase the biodiversity and beauty of your school grounds or neighbourhood.
To find out more about the Real Poppy Campaign here is the article Cally wrote for her local press about it.
We think that there is no better way to remember the war generation than to create a special floral tribute with the flowers in your patch. Put it in the window at home with a wartime photo of your family; use it in a classroom display or as a table decoration during an assembly or at lunchtime. Play wartime music. Learn to jitterbug. Eat spam sandwiches. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells of your D Day commemoration will stay with children well into the future.
We’d love to see any of your D Day floral tributes. Why not tweet us your pics with the hashtag #DDaysayitwithflowers ?