The idea is to reveal the stories of people living in the county during the wartime period, enable young people to find out more about the period, share their work online, and some schools will be selected to take part in a special performance entitled To End All Wars at the theatre on Friday 1 August.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is backing the scheme with over £67,000 worth of funding, topped up with a £3000 grant from Norfolk County Council.
The first stage of the programme is the creation of a learning programme for Key Stage 1-4 which will include case studies, historical materials, questions / activities and a toolkit for schools to start their own investigations into local heroes using their community war memorial as a base.
Six schools will then be selected to work with a specialist project artist to create pieces to be performed on stage as part of To End All Wars. The entire programme will be officially unveiled to teachers at a special reception at Norwich Theatre Royal on Friday 28 March.
The classroom learning programme will focus on men, women and children who lived in the county during the Great War. Claire Gulliver, who has helped put the education programme together, said: “The focus will be on the cultural, social and economic conditions on the ground and the impact of war at an individual and community level rather than focussing on the Home Front experience.
“Students will engage with the case studies and begin their own exploration into the heritage and relate this to their own lives. Local personalities, such as Edith Cavell, will be brought to life and widely known to Norfolk children through the project.”
The project team also hope it will enhance young people’s understanding about the past and raise awareness about their local community. Programme co-creator Claire Gulliver added: “It will also enable young people to understand the significance of Remembrance Day, the role of commemoration and offer them some connection to these events as they are so removed from their everyday lives.”
A special website will also be created which will be used both as a resource for teachers and also a place where schools can upload and share some of the work they have completed.
Peter Wilson, Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive, said the performance of To End All Wars will also be a fantastic opportunity for a number of local schools. He said: “This will be a unique focal point for the culmination of this project and the opportunity for a small number of Norfolk schools to engage creatively with the retelling of these stories and gain an insight during the time of the Great War during this significant centenary year.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “This project gives the younger generation the opportunity to understand and commemorate the experiences of those who lived in Norfolk during these turbulent times and to share them with a wider audience using visual arts and performance skills.”
There will be the chance for media to attend the To End All Wars teachers launch on Friday 28 March. To book a place or for any other media inquiries, please contact John Bultitude, Norwich Theatre Royal senior communications officer, on 01603 598521 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HLF press office: Vicky Wilford on 020 7591 6046 or 07973 401937, email: email@example.com