A Week of Remembrance
In the week prior to Remembrance Day, students and staff at Ark William Parker Academy attended assemblies led by Assistant Principal Mr Burchell, a former serving marine. The focus was on Armistice Day and what this time of year feels like for serving and former serving soldiers. Afterwards, students were keen to talk about members of their families who are currently serving; others asked about the medal Mr Burchell was wearing on his uniform.
Having an ex-serviceman on the staff really brought home the values and respect that people have at this time of year; students eagerly showed their support for the poppy appeal by buying a poppy from Mr Burchell.
On Friday 11 November, Ark William Parker Academy held Remembrance services in their main hall. The services were led by students and visiting speakers to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
Reverend Paul Parks from St Helens church led the lessen reading from Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer. He went on to explain his experiences as a paratrooper, after which, he asked students to consider their choices and how they impact on relationships; he explored this by smashing glass to emphasise the impact the behaviours/choices might have.
Geoff Bridger, a military historian, brought in and talked about examples of weapons and preparation for the WW1 battles. He demonstrated the equipment that a person would carry into battle along with over 300lbs of ammunition and he presented weapons of the time, which included a cosh, knife and grenades. He also explained what food would be like in the field, some of it similar to modern dog biscuits.
Student Dion read Rupert Brooke’s "The Soldier" in both services.
Student Dillon read "For the Fallen" by Robert Laurence Binyon in the Year 9 and 10 Service; during this service all students and staff participated in the 2 minute silence.
The academy's trustees and governors, along with selected Year 10 students laid wreaths at the memorials, which the school has for its boys who were lost in the two world wars. The service concluded with sound of the "Last Post" played by Roger Mitchell, a former Headteacher of the school.
The poppy collection was coordinated by the sixth form RE Ambassador team.
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