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Poppy Assembly at St. Aelred’s RC VA

Pupils, parents and the Parish Family of St. Aelred’s RC VA Primary School, York,  marked the commemoration of  the 100 years since the beginning of WWI with a special assembly on Friday 14th November.


Each child, from Early Years to Year 6, made a poppy using a variety of mediums; clay, felt, tissue or cross stitch which then created a trail into the hall. As part of an art project titled ‘Peace’ classes also designed and created additional works of permanent art such as photography work using the children to spell out the word ‘Peace’, a large dove full of inspirational words that reflect the meaning of peace, a tapestry of poppies and clay poppies to emulate The Tower Poppies.


The assembly, led by Mrs Holmes’ Year 3 class, was reverential in remembering those that have fallen reciting ‘In Flander’s Field’ by Private John McCrae and ‘The Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon. Rachel Zhuang, Year 4, played ‘The Last Post’ on the keyboard as part of the Superact's The Last Post Project, which runs across the UK from 4 to 18 November, where the famous ceremonial call is played on different instruments in tribute to those whose lives were affected by the war.


Special mention was also made of the Calpin Brothers of Hope Street, Hungate, York who were ten brothers that fought in WWI and all survived. They were the biggest band of brothers to ever go to war and in doing so were honoured by King George V in a letter that told their parents, Sarah and Patrick Calpin, that His Majesty had heard the news ‘with deepest gratification’. St. Aelred’s Y3 teacher Mrs. Holmes, has connections to the Calpin Family as her mother-in –law is  the Granddaughter of John Calpin and wanted to celebrate this auspicious relationship.



The children also thoroughly enjoyed singing war time songs such as ‘Keep the Homefires Burning’ ,‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your troubles’. They particularly enjoyed singing ‘The Quartemaster’s Store’ as they imagined seeing rats as big as cats amongst the food and the Quartermaster pretending that he knew nothing about it!


St Aelred’s staff wanted the children to be fully immersed in the Commemoration of WWI and make it a day for them to remember. We raised £300 for the Poppy Appeal.  We think we did just that!


Mrs Ruth C Holmes Year 3 Teacher and History Co-Ordinator.

The Photograph shows Y3 with Peggy and Marie who were WREN’s and now collect the donations for the Poppy Appeal.