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Remembrance Day

Suzie Hunt By Suzie Hunt

World War 1 and World War 2 affected the lives of millions of people and shaped the world we live in today. Remembrance Day provides an opportunity to reflect on those conflicts and to learn about Britain's involvement in them and the ways in which the World Wars are remembered around the world.

Hamilton have plenty of material that can be used to inspire learning about these momentous historical events and meet learning objectives from across the curriculum.

Marking Remembrance Day in Key Stage 1

Remembrance Day falls on the 11th November and marks the signing of the armistice at the end of World War 1. In the United Kingdom, the main public observances take place on the Sunday nearest to 11 November, although a minute's silence is often observed in both public and private spaces at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, whatever day of the week it falls on.

In Hamilton's dedicated Remembrance Day topic block, children reflect on some of their own memories and think about the meaning of symbols, in particular the Remembrance Day poppy. It provides a chance to explore the ways that Remembrance Day is marked in Britain and other countries.

See our Remembrance Day block for ideas and activities to mark Remembrance Day in your school.

World War 1 and Remembrance in Lower Key Stage 2

Our World War 1 mini-topic provides thoughtful and sensitive teaching about the causes of the war, the nature of the western front and its trenches, the challenges faced on the home front, the end of the war and how we commemorate this hugely significant historical event from over 100 years ago today.

In the final session, you can recreate the main elements of a Remembrance Day service and talk about the significance of each part.

Explore our WW1 mini-topic for LKS2.

Study World War 2 in Key Stage 2

Hamilton's World War 2 topic for Year 3 and Year 4 children takes a child's-eye view of the home front. Study the start of the war, the Dunkirk rescue, the Battle of Britain, the D-day landings and the end of the war, all from a child’s perspective.

In our World War 2 topic for Year 5 and Year 6, children learn about the Second World War in Europe and why the Battle of Britain was such a significant turning point in British History. The key events are understood within a timeline of events from the outbreak of the war through to the liberation of the concentration camps and the celebrations of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Both topics have specific sessions that can be pulled out to mark significant dates as they come around.

The Battle of Britain


Use Battle of Britain Day on the 15th September to help your children understand this significant turning point in British history. The Battle of Britain remains one of the pivotal moments not just in the history of Britain, but also in British memories and ideas about the past. It affected the physical and social geography of the country at the time and also to this day.

Explore our Battle of Britain topic blocks for lower key stage 2 or for upper key stage 2.

The D-Day Landings and VE Day


Either VE Day on the 8th of May or the anniversary of the Battle of Normandy on the 6th of June can provide an opportunity to learn about the D-Day landings. The June landings in 1944 ultimately led to the end of World War 2 in Europe (Victory in Europe) the following May (1945). Hamilton's plans can help you commemorate either day, and you can further build on these activities by finding place-specific educational opportunities in local museums or other commemorative institutions or locations.

Explore our D-Day Landings topic blocks for lower key stage 2 or upper key stage 2.

Read Powerful World War 1 Fiction in Year 6

Study the World War 1 historical narratives War Horse and War Game. Use the core unit to introduce War Horse, and consider the challenges of historical fiction. Children consider the story from different perspectives and then re-write the events using their imaginations to emphasise and add additional detail. Select additional units to revise clauses and use formal and informal register, including subjunctive form. Use as many of the remaining 5 units of this block to deepen children's understanding of the themes and issues of the books.

Explore our War Horse and War Game English planning for Year 6.