Pupils at a Sunderland school honour former students who perished in the First World War

Washington School students remembrance art work
From left Abbie Lynn, Jayne Hall, Aaron Sewell and Kirsten Anderson

Washington School students remembrance art work From left Abbie Lynn, Jayne Hall, Aaron Sewell and Kirsten Anderson

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Caring youngsters at a Wearside school have spent almost a year dedicated to honouring the war dead.

A group of pupils at Washington School have given up their free time to learn more about the First World War and those who gave their lives.

Washington School students during their First World War project.

Washington School students during their First World War project.

The project began in January and since then the students have spoken to many organisations, studied the history of the era and have been on a visit to the Somme battlefields.

Nicola Williamson, community engagement officer at the Spout Lane school, said she is very proud of the work and the dedication the young people have shown.

She said the school gained a grant to support the project, which involved 20 students from Years 7-9.

Ms Williamson said: “For two hours after school twice a week for almost a year they have worked on this project.

I am so proud of them, they have put so much into the whole project

Nicola Williamson

“I am so proud of them, they have put so much into the whole project and it has given them such a different perspective on the war.”

During the project the students have hosted a wartime tea dance for the residents of a nearby care home, Roseberry Court, which they thorougly enjoyed and worked with the Royal British Legion in the area.

Miss Williamson said they have also worked with Newcastle University learning about and trying their hand at trench art and have visited Commonwealth War Graves Commission sites to read First World War poetry to the soldiers who rest there.

She said: “We have also linked every subject on the curriculum into the project, so our students have learned so much.”

The pupils have painted a number of small wooden soldiers, half of which have been sent to go on display at the National Arboretum and half are being displayed at Washington Village War Memorial for Remembrance Sunday.

Miss Wiliiamson added: “The students decided to paint one side black because they were nameless and faceless people and just a name on a wall and then they decorated the other sides to highlight they were much more than that.”

Seven soldiers who studied at Washington School were killed in the First World War and the group want to make sure they are not forgotten and are currently working on creating a roll of honour to them to go in display in the school.

Miss Williamson said the pupils now want to raise money to carry on their work next year, this time studying the Second World War.