Students travelled to Belgium to pay tribute to those who fought and died in the First World War - and are now preparing to create a spectacular display of poppies outside school to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the conflict.
Forty students from Years 10-13 visited Ypres - the location of three significant and devastating battles between 1914 and 1918 - to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
During the three-day trip, students visited a number of important landmarks, including Lijssenthoek Cemetery, Talbot House, the In Flanders Fields Museum, Langemark German Cemetery, Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62, The Peace Tower and the ‘Trenches of Death’ - the last line of Belgian defence.
They also visited Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world, as well as Essex Farm Cemetery - the site where John McCrae wrote his famous poem, ‘In Flanders Field’.
The highlight of the excursion was the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony, which saw four Year 11 students - Jordh Sidhu, Jack Bladon, Elise Savannah and Courtney Brice - lay a wreath on behalf of Highfields School in front of hundreds of visitors.
After returning from the trip, staff from the school’s History department have now planned a number of activities to mark the Great War, including the creation of a sea of poppies at the front of school, based on the stunning display at the Tower of London.
Students, parents/carers and staff are being encouraged to create their own poppies from plastic bottles to form part of the display to mark Armistice Day, using the instructions in this link:
Miss Tappenden said: “This Armistice Day marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and to mark the occasion we are planning a spectacular display of poppies, similar to that at the Tower of London, at the front of the school building.
“We hope to get as many students, parents/carers and staff involved in the project; the more poppies we have, the more spectacular the display!
“We shall be asking students to make their poppies from plastic bottles using instructions from the link.
“With half term approaching it is a fantastic opportunity for students to get making their poppies. The deadline for the completion of poppies will be the morning of Friday 9th November so that construction of the display can begin on Friday afternoon and be completed in time for Remembrance Sunday and for students’ arrival at school the following Monday morning.
“It is hoped this will be a lasting legacy of the visit and a reminder for many years to come of the significance of the war, the sacrifices made by so many, and the eventual peace which arose from it. Thank you in advance for all of your support!”
In addition to the poppy display, Highfields will also be hosting a week of special assemblies dedicated to the Great War from November 5th, whilst a screening of Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ will be held in the lecture theatre the week after Remembrance Sunday. Please find a full schedule of activities below.