18 November 2017
Girls in Year 5, Year 6, and Year 9 at Pipers Corner, along with History subject leaders from Years 10-13 participated in a hugely inspiring roadshow led by the charity “Never Such Innocence” (NSI), on Tuesday.
“Never Such Innocence” takes its name from Philip Larkin’s poem “MCMXIV, which reflects on the changes caused by the First World War. The driving force behind Never Such Innocence is Lady Lucy French, great-granddaughter of Field Marshal Sir John French who commanded the British Expeditionary Forces from 1914-15. Since 2014 the charity has held roadshows and visited schools all over the country in order to educate young people about the First World War, its impact and legacy, through creative means.
As a four-year project this is the final year that the charity will be running its poetry and art competition, along with its song competition “Songs of the Centenary”. For both activities young people from all over the commonwealth are invited to submit work based on the theme of the Great War. Last year, Pipers’ pupil, Lara V, won the “Song of the Centenary” competition and was lucky enough to perform her song, entitled “Fighting on my Own”, in the Guard’s Chapel at Wellington Barracks in London.
This year, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the RAF entrants are being encouraged to use the theme of “the war in the skies” for inspiration. Alternatively, to tie in with a British Legion initiative, participants are invited to share a message of Remembrance and hope, by saying “Thank You” to the First World War generation through their entries.
At this week’s roadshow a selection of Year 9 girls read out poems they have already written for the competition in their English classes. There were also presentations from girls in Year 10, 11 and 13 on “The Importance of 1918”, and the poetry and art entries from last year’s competition.
During the morning Year 5 pupils took part in a song writing workshop with NSI’s Artist in Residence, singer/song writer Marty Longstaff. Marty talked to the girls about song writers like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, explaining how song writing is simply a matter of having an idea, then writing your thoughts and feelings down, before putting it to music. As a group the girls wrote a song entitled “Thank you” which they performed to the rest of the students during the roadshow presentation event.
By the end of the afternoon it was clear that even more of the girls felt encouraged and inspired to take part in the NSI competition and say thank you for the sacrifices made by those involved in conflict. We look forward to finding out if any of the Pipers’ entries are successful when judging takes place in the Spring.