SHP Second Plenary

Andrew Wrenn on Growing Remembrance: Designing the Future.

We begin by discussing recent headlines. We look at pictures of servicemen from Afghanistan, and you could hear a pin drop. 1968 is the only year post WW2 that a British serviceman has not died in combat. This session focuses on post-war conflicts involving British forces.

We list post-ww2 conflicts involving British troops and try to group them – decolonisation, peace keeping, alliances…


…keeping colonies, sometimes – “imperial policing”. Oil, economics. “Resisting aggression”. Cold War. Humanitarian.

There are a lot of wars on this map and audience hands-up suggests very few of them are covered in schools today. Students have a gap in their knowledge and don’t understand how British troops have been used and affected post-1945.

The scheme of work presented is about how post-1945 conflicts should be remembered – because at the moment they aren’t, really.

We read about Korea. Helpful – year 12 are just doing this in prep for next year πŸ™‚
Then we discussed what would be an appropriate memorial for the 686 dead, 1102 MIA British troops. This is how year 9 would begin with a conflict of their choosing. We look at some other memorials.


A memorial is a representation in a place, and where it is placed and how you interact with it is as important as what it is. The one above is in San Francisco on the coast, the figure looking out over the Pacific.

Andrew tells us about a memorial walk students go on around London. He shows a short video of the monument to NZ soldiers at Hyde Park Corner. It has Maori language and cultural references included. But to critique the monument, you need to know your History well. The D&T dept helped with this, with the model making.

(Thinking I could do the memorial walk and make videos of each one for students to view as part of the project. Sounds like a good summer day trip!)

On video, year 9 student Felix presents his memorial to the Korean War. Shows excellent historical knowledge and distillation of understanding.

Finally Andrew tells us about the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffs. Memorials here are created by veterans associations and students visited to critique what is there.

Excellent ideas here!

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