March school remembers fallen in special service

PUBLISHED: 14:57 14 November 2018

Children at Westwood Primary School read poems about poppies and In Flanders Field and learned about how the first two minutes silence occurred. Picture: CLARE JERROM

Children at Westwood Primary School read poems about poppies and In Flanders Field and learned about how the first two minutes silence occurred. Picture: CLARE JERROM

Archant

Pupils, parents, current and former staff of Westwood primary school in March held a special remembrance service to coincide with the formal opening of the expansion of the school.

Year 5 children held a class assembly for parents about the significance of Remembrance Day, which this year marked the centenary of the end of the First World War.

More than 50 parents joined the children on the Oak site playground to take part in the service at 10.50am.

Children read poems about poppies and In Flanders Field and learned about how the first two minutes silence occurred in London as reported by the Manchester Guardian on November 12 1919.

The oldest and youngest children laid ceramic poppies next to a jigsaw picture of a poppy that the whole school had contributed to making.

Each class had worked on a different part of the jigsaw in the lead up to the service.

A year 6 pupil rang a bell to indicate the start and the end of the two minutes silence.

“It was a lovely and thoughtful occasion and the children really did themselves, their parents and the school proud,” said Mr Steve Abey, deputy head-teacher at the school.

Following the service, tea and coffee was served as the school proudly revealed the results of the extensive building work that had been carried out over the summer months.

It will increase capacity at the school and meet the growing local demands for school places in the town.

Four new classrooms, a general office and kitchen have been created at the school by leading construction experts the Kier Group.

There are now 739 pupils attending Westwood, which has a total capacity for 840, and which will prevent local children having to find school places outside of March.

Prior to the expansion more than 200 students could have been forced to go to school elsewhere.

Gill Thomas, head of Westwood, said: “These 210 children are all in the catchment area and we believe that the school is the heart of the community and that children who live in March have the right to be educated in March.

“There was a need for us to expand and the local authority asked us to get bigger.”

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