Grassmoor School: Class of 1916

Grassmoor Primary School were awarded £7,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for their project ‘Class of 1916’. By investigating the lives of Grassmoor schoolchildren in 1916 the project looked at school life in the First World War.

The area’s local regiment was the Sherwood Foresters and they fought in the Easter Rising and the Somme, so the project explored the impact of these two events on families and children, as well as the impact on the local mining industry. Entries from the school logbook were used as the centre of the work and also the story of George Rushton, a young teacher at Grassmoor who was called up to the Sherwood Foresters in early 1916.

The children began work on the project in May 2016, with activities involving drama and interactive learning aided by Whitworks Adventures in Theatre. They visited Smithybrook View in Clay Cross and talked to residents there about what life was like in the early twentieth century and listened to family stories about the First World War.

The Year 6 class spent a day at the University of Nottingham, exploring the use of primary sources from World War 1, and scanned and photographed their own family heirlooms.

Derbyshire Record Office spent a morning working with the Year 6 class at the school. The children looked at a range of materials, examining the documents in groups and reporting back to the class.

More information about the project, a digital copy of the book and pictures were added to the Whitworks Adventures in Theatre website