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How Citizenship links to VE Day Celebrations

Post date: 
Mon, 04/05/2020 - 14:30

As you all know, Friday the 8th May is the 75th Anniversary of VE day. Were it not for fighting the outbreak of Covid - 19, many people would be marking the anniversary with school assemblies, history and citizenship lessons. Instead, gatherings cannot take place and we find teachers setting work from home. 

Citizenship clearly plays an important role in this Annniversary, with its focus on teaching about equalities, rights, and community action. So today we have launched three lessons designed by ACT teachers to illustrate the importance of citizenship when marking the 75th Anniversary of VE day. Find them on our resources page here.

Lesson 1: Changing Role of Women in Society since World War II     

Lesson 2: VE day and migration - the windrush generation

Lesson 3: Citizenship and VE day- Opportunities for Active Citizenship 

Also published today is a blog from Zoe, our Lead Secondary Advisor. Zoe highlights Churchill's address to the nation at 3pm on 8th May, when he stated that: ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.'

For six years families had been split and communities had struggled to live in the wreckage of the Blitz and find a ‘wartime spirit’ while subsisting on rations, shortages and enduring other trials. While a time of celebration for many, it was a time of reflection and sorrow for others.

The end of the war also led to the formation of the United Nations. The principles of the UN Charter first formulated on April 25th 1945 included respecting equal rights. From here, work developed and many Citizenship teachers still use the image of Eleanor Roosevelt holding the first copy of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. This provides material for many of our lessons and often GCSE questions are based around this topic, so it is really clear to see how important the end of WWII is for Citizenship teachers.

As part of a show of solidarity for the veterans of WWII,, teachers can encourage their students to use virtual interactions or indeed good old pen and paper to reach out to this generation and make them feel valued during this particularly difficult time.

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