Brechin pupils urged to turn detective

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Brechin primary pupils are being urged to investigate and uncover the real life stories of war heroes listed on their local war memorials.

Launched by the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS) to commemorate the start of the First World War in the countdown to next year’s centenary, the Scottish Primary School War Memorial competition is open to children in primaries six and seven.

Part of RBLS’s ‘Voices of Veterans’ campaign, the project encourages children to discover facts about their local communities, investigate stories of fallen soldiers from as far back as the First World War and trace their families in their local area.

Kevin Gray, RBLS chief executive officer, said: “The competition is about getting children and young people to engage with their history and learn about their war memorial heritage.

“It’s a unique opportunity for children to develop a wide range of skills, from their understanding of history to research, literacy and IT as well as the expressive arts.

“Through visits to memorials and working with other organisations, pupils also get the chance to develop strong community links.

“Through this annual competition we have found young people get a lot out of learning about their war memorial history. And it instils a sense of citizenship.”

Pupils will be able to submit their research to an online archive of war memorials to help the War Memorials Trust find out about the condition of memorials across the country and help preserve and protect them.

Each entry will also help the Imperial War Museum to catalogue memorials across Scotland.

To enter pupils need to research a local war memorial within the school’s area and find out as much information as they can about the servicemen and women, the battles they were in and the stories of their service.

Nick Morgan, development officer from Education Scotland said: “The Scottish Primary School War Memorial Competition is a great learning opportunity for pupils, and an example of how a well designed project can really enrich the learning experience.

“As part of the research children will be able to bring history to life, increasing their knowledge of the local community and the impacts of the First World War.

“At the same time they will also be developing their literacy and ICT skills, and drawing on a range of expressive arts to present their work.

“The competition will also be a great way to develop their creativity, team work and foster a sense of citizenship.”

Their findings can be presented in any multimedia format and could include images, artwork, poems or songs.

Pupils from the winning school will present their winning entry to veterans from across Scotland.

Full details on the competition can be found online at www.rblscotland.com/schools.