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South East Schools First World War Project - Article 3

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 Is your school planning to take place in the 1914 Schools' Christmas Truce Project this autumn?

The 1914 Christmas Truce

In the week leading up to Christmas 1914 groups of German and British soldiers stopped fighting to sing festive songs. Some on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ventured into "No man's land" to exchange gifts and to play games of football.

Today the truce is remembered as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity. An action taken by soldiers caught up in the conflict that was The First World War.

For more information about the 1914 Christmas Truce, click on the links below:

Imperial War Museum: Christmas at War

BBC Schools World War I

The 1914 Christmas Truce Schools' Project is a cross-curricular project for primary and secondary pupils across the South East region. It will commence in September 2014 and culminate in a week of activities taking place between 24- 28 November 2014. Schools can opt to support the project at any time during the autumn term.

The 1914 Christmas Truce project is an opportunity for schools and their pupils to: 

  • Research and find out about local soldiers who were part of this event
  • Plan a 1914 Christmas Truce Assembly on the theme of Peace and Humanity
  • Write and publish poems, postcards and Christmas Greeting cards like the soldiers in the trenches did in 1914
  • Create 2 and 3D Artwork to depict life in the Trenches
  • Dedicate a part of your school grounds as a "Peace Field" in memory of the events of 1914
  • Participate in friendly sports matches with other schools
  • Participate in on-line question and answer sessions with local historians about the symbolic importance today of The 1914 Christmas Truce

Staff can opt to support all the topics listed above or select themes and activities that feature on their curriculum plans.

The 1914 Christmas Truce Schools' Project - Free Teaching & Learning resources for all schools in the South - East

To support the project a new website "The 1914 Schools' Christmas Truce Project" will be launched in June 2014. On the site schools, teachers and pupils will be able to link to and download a range of high quality teaching and learning resources created and digitised by the Imperial War Museum, The First World War Centenary Partnership, The British Council, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Arts Council Providers and Local Museums and Galleries from across the region.

Resources displayed on the site support all areas of the curriculum and include a major focus on the Creative Arts, Literacy, Cross-Curricular learning and Sport and PHSE.

First World War Centenary: Podcast 9  The Christmas Truce 

First World War Christmas Greeting Cards

Poems about WW1 Trench warfare

First World War Trench Art

1914 Christmas Truce Films, television and Radio broadcasts

First World War music

Look out in your school for details in early May 2014 about to how to access The British Council 1914 Christmas Truce Resource Pack  . A 100-plus page guide containing resources and cross-curricular activities for pupils of all ages.

Also, the BBC will be broadcasting a series of programmes about the event around the festive period. Full details about all planned World War I programmes can be found by clicking on the link.

The Premier League also plan to commemorate the event by holding an U12 youth tournament at Ypres in December 2014. . The 1914 Christmas Truce will also be remembered during a minute's silence at Premier League and Football League grounds on Boxing Day.

Recreate the events of the 1914 Christmas Truce in your school

Promote Peace through sport

During the 1914 Christmas Truce Project week for schools The National Children's Football Alliance will be encouraging and supporting friendly sports matches between schools across the region. Sports highlighted in the programme will include football, tag and mini rugby, netball, softball, cricket and athletics. For more details about how to organise and take part in these events, click on the link below and read the account of Football & Peace day held for Kent and German schools at Maidstone United football ground on Friday 25th May 2014.

The Peace Fields Project

"Twin your school fields with the Peace Village and The Flanders Peace Fields"

The National Children's Football Alliance and The Peace Village at Mesen in Belgium are commemorating World War I and celebrating peace through the 1914 Christmas Truce by offering schools the opportunity to twin a designated area of their school field or grounds with The Flanders Peace Fields, site of the Christmas Truce.

This unique offer will directly link your area of play with one of the most famous fields in world history. Click here find out how you can apply for your Peace Field declaration. 

How can our school take part in the 1914 Christmas Truce Project for schools?

Schools in Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and Medway can find out more about the project and register by attending the launch meetings taking place at the venues below at the end of June.

Schools not situated in these areas should complete the 1914 Schools Christmas Truce registration form and return this to by Monday 9 June 2104 to receive a copy of the Christmas Truce Resources pack for teachers.

At the launch meeting schools will learn about the various activities taking place during Christmas Truce Week (24-28 November 2014) and have the opportunity to sign up and take part in some or all of the planned events.  Managed by South East Grid for Learning Associates and The National Children's Football Alliance, these activities include: A Christmas Truce radio broadcast, online web conferences with local historians, The Christmas Truce debate, sports events and creative arts and history days at local museums and records offices.

1914 Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting dates and venues

Date: 16th May 2014         Sussex Schools'                Venue: The Keep, Brighton            Time: 13:30 to 16:30

Date 17th May 2014          Hampshire Schools'          Venue: HCC Records Office            Time: 13:30 to 16:30

Date: 19th June 2014       Kent & Medway Schools'  Venue: Maidstone Museum             Time: 16:30 to 16:30

To book a place for staff at your school to attend one of the launch meetings or to register for more information please download and complete one of the booking forms displayed below.

17.6.2014 Hampshire Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Flyer (PDF)

17.6.2014 Hampshire Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Booking Form (Word)

19.6.2014 Kent & Medway Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Flyer (PDF)

19.6.2014 Kent & Medway Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Booking Form (Word)

23.6.2014 Sussex Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Flyer (PDF)

23.6.2014 Sussex Schools Christmas Truce Project Launch Meeting Booking Form (Word)

For more information about the South East Schools First World War project contact:

Phil Bracegirdle - South East Grid for Learning Associates


The "one-stop" shop for all First World War Resources