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Week 5 Beginning 4th May

Home - VE Day 75

This week - History! 

“VE day stands for Victory in Europe”.

Germany had been defeated by the Allied forces, but the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was no longer alive. His successor, Grand Admiral Donitz, travelled to American General Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims, France and on the 7th of May, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to Western and Russian military commanders.

The next day, the 8th of May, was declared as the official day of celebration. People all over Europe were tired of years of hardship and bombing, they wanted to return to a normal life again. In London, tens of thousands of people came into the city centre. They listened to a speech by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Trafalgar Square which was delivered over the radio through huge loud speakers. George VI, Queen Elizabeth and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, also greeted the cheering crowds from their balcony at Buckingham Palace.

This week, we would like you to think about the end of WW2 and VE Day which is celebrated at the end of this week (8th May).  This year is a special year as it marks 75 years since the end of the war and so The Queen and the government have decided that this Friday should be a bank holiday (which normally means some people don't have to go to work and you wouldn't have to go to school).

If you want to get started with a 'lesson', there's a link to Mr T does History. It's a 30 minute lesson presentation and a good starting point for you.  However, you can just start with an activity: to conduct research on VE Day. You can (with adult permission or supervision) use the internet to do this or we have attached a presentation at the bottom of the page that has some useful facts about VE Day.  Also, use the links on this page as they will take you to helpful websites too! Once you have done this, we would like you to make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle using all the key vocabulary about the topic.

Next, we'd like you to transport yourself back to 1945 and plan a street party to celebrate the end of the war.  Below are some useful documents that will help you to do this.  You will need to consider rationing and foods that would have been and would have not been available to you. Look through the presentation and think about what you would want to include in your street party.  There is also a recipe book with some ideas of what dishes would have been made using the limited resources to hand. You may want to include some of those at your street party. If you are lucky enough to have the ingredients at home, you could ask your adult if you are able to make some of the tasty treats!

Your next task for this week, although related to VE Day, is actually a music task.  The BBC's Bring the Noise has collaborated with the National Memorial Arboretum to write and record a special song that captures the major theme of 'returning home'. On the right, you will see a tab called Take Me Home. Follow the link to the BBC site called 'Bring the Noise'. Click the play button. Now, click 'listen and layer'. Select the song, 'Take Me Home'.  We'd like you to explore the song - think about the lyrics (words) that have been chosen, the melody (tune), the tempo (how quick or slow), the instruments being used. Can you re-write some of the lyrics or maybe add a rap section (this should obviously capture the essence of the song and not just be a random addition!) Can you learn the song well enough to perform it to your adult (you are amazing singers so this should be a treat for them!). Music is a really valuable way of expressing yourself and feelings - you could even use this as inspiration to write a whole new song about the end of the war and what it meant for families.

To end the week (don't forget Friday is a bank holiday, so no working!) can you talk about your thoughts about VE Day? Use the sheet below, or you can just write freely about everything you have learned about this historical event in history. If you want, you could make some celebratory bunting with a design on the front and facts/thoughts on the back.