The WW100 Education Programme.
In 2014 School Kit was commissioned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage WW100NZ Project Office to deliver the Walking with an Anzac Education Programme in New Zealand Schools. The brief was unexpected - not to commemorate famous battles, not to learn the history behind medals or even to study our famous war heroes but to support New Zealand classrooms to develop their research skills through the discovery of local stories of First World War soldiers.
The programme was multifaceted and while it predictably included a set of educational resources (Teacher Guides and Fact Sheets which can be found here) it also included the School Kit Team visiting and documenting First World War ephemera held in the 800 oldest schools in New Zealand; working with 9 major Boys Schools in New Zealand, helping them to get full and complete electronic records of all the names included on their Rolls of Honour; documenting (and in many cases re-discovering) Rolls of Honour found in schools and working with schools to show how they could research the lives behind the names on those Rolls.
Over the commemorative period the School Kit Team visited 2400 schools and documented items with a connection to the First World War. School staff took the time to show us trees, medals, chairs, trophies, flags, badges, diaries, photographs, plaques, Rolls of Honour, churches, drive us up distant country roads to visit old school sites, rang locals in the know, opened long locked rooms and clambered into dusty school attics. Overall we found 2752 stories and connected schools with the research and records on at least one soldier from every discovery. It has been nothing short of an obsession, highly emotional, exciting and a huge honour.
This box contains 32 of the best stories from those schools but the lesson has been that our own community story is all around us, everywhere, if we just teach ourselves how and where to look.
Walking with an Anzac Historypin
Walking with an Anzac Tumblr
A collation of activities, ideas and innovations in NZ classrooms.