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First World War support to schools

As part of the Army’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, we have developed a programme of support to schools. This has two major elements:

  • First World War learning resources aimed at secondary school learners (see link to the right)
  • Soldiers to Schools: the option for secondary schools to request a soldier to support teaching activities within the classroom

Our other forms of school support can be found on our Teachers page (see link to the right).

What support is available to teaching staff for First World War commemorations?

Soldiers to Schools will make available trained soldiers who will provide direct support to teacher-led delivery of First World War lessons in secondary schools in the United Kingdom.

What subjects can they cover?

Due to the breadth of the subject matter, soldiers are unable to be experts in all aspects of the First World War. However, they are experts at a personal level on what it means to be a soldier and, with limited research, they are able to explain comparisons and contrasts between the Army of 1914–1918 and of today.

The precise nature of the soldier’s contribution to a lesson will be as a result of discussion and agreement between the teacher and the soldier.

Soldiers to Schools themes could include:

  • The 1914/2014 Recruitment process: Regular and Reserves
  • Basic training: officer and soldier – then and now
  • Specialist training
  • The reality of living in the field
  • Camaraderie, teamwork and the importance of leadership in the Army
  • Individual leadership development
  • Personal equipment and developments during the war
  • Specialist equipment and developments during the war
  • Impact of combat: personal; family; community and society

Why only secondary schools?

The large number of schools across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland means that our activity has to be targeted in order to make best use of these specially trained individuals.

Isn't this just recruiting?

The Army has directed that Soldiers to Schools is not to be combined with recruiting activities.  The soldiers have been selected from local Regular and Reserve units across the wider Army, rather than specific recruiting organisations.

What level of soldier should be expected?

Soldiers will be senior non-commissioned officers or commissioned officers, with a wealth of military experience.

Child protection

It is possible that some soldiers attending schools will not have undergone CRB or DBS checking. Schools must ensure that soldiers are accompanied throughout their visit and are not left alone unsupervised with young people.

To request a soldier to support your teaching activities, complete and submit our request form, available to the right. Based on the postcode of your school, the relevant regional Brigade will be notified, which will identify a trained soldier to make contact with you within 1–2 weeks of your request.

Please give as much notice as possible to ensure that we can meet your needs. As a guideline, you should be considering booking this resource at least 6 weeks in advance of the date you wish to the soldier to arrive at your school.

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