Last week at Archbishop of York’s Junior School in Bishopthorpe some amazing pieces of poetry were produced. YoYo was invited to do some lessons on Christmas and Peace. The day started with Tony reading from his book, called Silent Night. The story is a real life Christmas story, but not an ordinary one. It goes back to World War I and talks about the tiredness of the soldiers on both sides, English and German, fighting in the trenches. He told it in a very lively way and involved the Year 6 children, so that they could imagine how the narrator, a British soldier, must have felt. In the middle of the story Tony stopped reading and asked the children for possible endings – some very exciting and imaginative ideas came up. At the end of the story I had my part with singing Silent Night in German, just as the German soldiers did in 1914. The British soldiers answered this singing with the English version of the song and what followed then is known as the Christmas Truce, a football game in the middle of a war zone.
After the storytelling part the two Year 6 classes got the chance to perform their own little drama on the story. They were divided into two groups representing the two armies. From shooting each other they went to shaking hands and joining in song.
Later, they also got the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about the story, about Christmas, War and Peace in writing. The following poem is a really good example of how creative and thoughtful the Year 6 children dealt with the task.
Peace is a powerful word
One not to forget.
But as a bullet flies,
And the grass turns grey.
In this world
Holds the meaning of the word PEACE.
In the center of his heart,
The word reads,
And that word will never leave,
It is locked,
Nothing will come between that.
Think what the world would be like
If we all were to be like God.
The world would never be the same again.
God created us for a reason,
Not to fight,
I really enjoyed the morning at Bishopthorpe because the story was very exciting and the children listen really well and did some great jobs in the drama and the writing. I think is it important to raise awareness about the importance of peace and that peace can be achieved everywhere, if people care about mankind and the reasons for us being on this earth. It was also nice to hear a different Christmas story and to be reminded of the importance of Christmas in various countries.
At the end we want to say thank you to the teachers who invited us in to see and experience such amazing works of poetry!