Sunderland school leads the way in remembering the fallen

The remembrance service at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.
The remembrance service at Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.
0
Have your say

Students at a city school have dedicated a week of lessons to remembering war heroes.

Throughout this week, staff and pupils at Southmoor Academy have paid tribute to servicemen and women as part of Remembrance Day commemorations.

Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter, a former student at Southmoor.

Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter, a former student at Southmoor.

The Ryhope Road school has introduced the subject of remembrance into all of its lessons, including looking at war poetry in English, doing war-themed plays in drama lessons and the art department creating a huge poppy installation, which is on show outside the academy.

Principal Steve Garrett said: “Remembrance has a long tradition to us at Southmoor.

“This year students have considered remembrance across a range of curriculum areas; students in textiles lessons actually created wreaths for us to lay during our remembrance assembly.

“This has been a whole school effort and puts remembrance at the forefront of all we have done over the last few weeks.

Remembering the fallen at a special service at Southmoor Academy.

Remembering the fallen at a special service at Southmoor Academy.

“Equally, the Art department have been hard at work creating a giant collage of poppy fields which can been seen surrounding the school entrance from Ryhope Road.”

Liam Clark, citizenship teacher at Southmoor, said: “It is a huge thing for us and I know the community really value what we do.”

During the week the school held remembrance services each day, inviting veterans and dignitaries, including the Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran, along to join the staff and students in paying their respects.

Southmoor has long supported the armed forces and even has a library named the Sgt John Amer Reading Suite, in memory of a former pupil who was killed in 2009.

Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter, a former Southmoor student, lays a wreath of remembrance.

Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter, a former Southmoor student, lays a wreath of remembrance.

Sgt Amer, 30, a member of the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards, was killed as he tried to help an injured comrade in the Helmand Province.

Former student Colour Sergeant Chris Hunter spoke during a remembrance assembly about his time with Sgt Amer, sharing stories with students and staff of joining the Army with his absent friend.

During the service a performance of The Last Post was given by sixth former Jack Wake.

There was also a minute’s silence during which wreaths were laid under a plaque of former students who gave their lives during the First World War.

Wreaths had been created during textile lessons as part of a whole school effort to remember those that we have lost.

The students and staff at Southmoor Academy have devoted themselves to raising money for the Army Benevolent Fund and have raised more than £4,000.

Mr Clark said the students took turns throughout this week in joining in the assemblies in their house groups.

He added: “Remembrance is a long running tradition at Southmoor and is something we rightly embrace as a community.

“Many of our students have ambitions to be involved with the armed forces or are existing cadets, and, many of our former students are current servicemen/women.

“It is important that we remember those who lost their lives across the country and from our community, such as Sergeant Amer.”

The Academy continued to mark remembrance this week by enabling each student to write a personal message of remembrance on poppies during Citizenship time.