LESSONS in life in the trenches and wartime medicine replaced maths and English to mark the final week of term at a North-East school.

Students at St Aidan’s Academy, in Darlington, dropped their usual lessons and spent a week learning about respect and stewardship through the First World War.

Inspired by the centenary of the Great War, students were placed into battalions and developed their own name, motto and coat of arms.

Loading article content

Throughout the week – dubbed Make a Difference week – pupils took part in team building exercises, looked at conditions in the trenches, wartime medicine, war propaganda, and learned about conscientious objectors and stewardship of the world.

They also learned how to march and took part in a passing out parade to mark the last day of term.

Principal Catherine McCoy said: “The staff and students have worked really hard to ensure that Make a Difference week has been so successful and enjoyable, it has been fantastic to see students learning about respect and the First World War in such a creative way.”

Students were also presented with replica copies of the Gospel of John that was issued to serving soldiers when they were sent to the battlefield during the First World War.

Stephanie Francom, assistant principal said she was impressed with the students’ efforts throughout the week.

“This year we have seen students thoroughly enjoy themselves engaging in workshops and lessons around World War One that have developed the theme of respect,” she said.

Year 10 student Natasha Geach added: “Make a Difference has really brought students together. I have been working and making friends with pupils who I didn't really know, we have been working as a team.

“I have also learnt things about the First World War I never knew before.”