Two students from Osborne School in Winchester were invited to the House of Lords last week to receive a special prize for their First World War legacy project.
Jack Dunford and Ben Morgan, both Year 10 students at the maintained special school, were recognised for putting together one of the six best legacy projects in the country, following their participation in the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme.
At an event hosted by Minister for Faith Lord Bourne, and attended by a number of present and former MPs, including the local MP for Winchester, Steve Brine, Jack and Ben received an award for the narrated film they created, documenting their experiences at the most famous battle sites.
On their four-day battlefield tour, run by the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and tours provider Equity, the students visited Ypres and the Somme, and learnt about the lives and experiences of soldiers who fought a century ago.
Jack and Ben's film, which has been shared on YouTube and in assemblies, formed part of their 'Legacy 110' project, designed to communicate their experiences to fellow students and the surrounding community.
The idea behind the projects, undertaken by all schools which participate in the battlefield tours programme, is to reach out to at least 110 people in the local community.
If all students achieve this, 888,246 people will have been reached in total, the total number of British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during the conflict. However, the legacy projects have been so successful that this figure has been more than doubled.
At the 'Legacy 110' awards event, students from other schools in England were recognised for projects including drama performances, research clubs, and remembrance gardens.
The annual event was organised by the government-funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, which gives two students and one teacher from every state secondary school in England the free chance to visit the battle sites of the Great War.
Sonia O'Donnell, Headteacher at Osborne School, said: "We are incredibly proud of Jack and Ben for being recognised in the House of Lords for creating one of the six best First World War legacy projects in the country.
"The film they put together was informative and emotive in equal measure, and really told the story of their experiences on the battle sites of the Great War, as well as the soldiers who fought there a century ago.
"Jack and Ben have not only grown personally as a result of their participation in a tour, but have been able to share their experiences with hundreds of others – something they deserve great praise for."
Simon Bendry, Programme Director of the First World War Battlefield Tours Programme, said:
"I would like to congratulate Jack and Ben for receiving one of only a small number of 'Legacy 110' awards at our House of Lords event last week, which was richly deserved for the captivating film they put together.
"In documenting their experiences on the First World War battle sites, they found a creative and engaging way to communicate with other students and the local community, enhancing many people's understanding of the Great War.
"The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme is all about providing students with a tangible insight into the lives of those who fought in the First World War, and it is great to see students like Jack and Ben continuing their study of the conflict with such enthusiasm once back at home."
Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, said: "It was a great honour to attend the 'Legacy 110' awards event in the House of Lords last week, and witness the outstanding project that Jack and Ben have crafted following their participation in a battlefield tour.
"Their film is a brilliant example of the way in which students can share their educational experiences with one another, as well as with the wider community in Winchester.
"The project is also testament to the talent and dedication of teachers at Osborne School, and the organisers of the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, which truly brings history to life, especially with the knowledge that Winchester MP Guy Baring lost his life in the war."
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