Pupils at Kineton High School have been moved and inspired through speaking to D-Day veterans as part of a national project in which only six other schools took part.
The school was invited by the Normandy Day UK charity and the Coventry-based film company Jam-AV to take part in the Peace Through Unity project because, being so close to the military base at Temple Herdewyke, several pupils’ families have military connections.
After spending nine months working with the charity and Jam-AV on creating a film which depicts pupils’ interviews with D-Day veterans and a modern-day soldier who has recently served in Afghanistan, the key stage four and five pupils were invited to watch the premiere of their film at a project launch held at Coventry Cathedral last Friday, on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.
Speaking afterwards, 15-year-old year 11 pupils Jenna Kavanagh said: “My favourite part was meeting the veterans and listening to their stories. They didn’t want our generation to go through what they had been through. It was very inspiring.
“We got to know the veterans, so when we saw them taking about their stories at the launch event, we felt we knew them personally.”
Pupils also worked with a spoken word artist and created their own poem, which featured in the film, and took part in the international Peace Picnic movement, which saw communities organise outdoor peace-themed events across the world on June 6.
English, film and media teacher at Kineton Lindsay Hooper said: “It was an amazing opportunity for the pupils to understand what people did for us. They garnered a whole new respect for the older generation and they really loved speaking to the veterans. They got a sense of pride of being involved in the commemorations.”