Doncaster XP Students Produce Art for VCT

Students from Doncaster XP school undertook a project reflecting on the outcomes and stories associated with the world wars and other conflicts involving the UK armed forces. The VCT were delighted to assist students in this through providing presentations on the history of the Victoria Cross and artefacts to examine as part of their immersion into conflict. Hayley Ibbotson one of the project leaders and teachers at the school provided a full briefing and results of the students' work. This also included stunning art work that we are delighted to share with you through our page.

The Immersion for our expedition in HUMAN focused on the key themes of unification, division, scientific innovation, community, peace, death and weaponry through protocols including: Gallery walk; silent conversation; notice, wonder and question. The students also attended an immersive experience at the Museum of Liverpool. This suggested and provided clues to the content of the expedition before the guiding question was revealed. 

For our Art immersion we looked at the surrealist work of Terry Gilliam and Hannah Hoch.  This helped us to contextualise the Surrealist art movement with the aftermath of the First World War.

In Science we immersed ourselves in the chemistry of war by examining what happened when we burned a variety of elements.  We also conducted an experiment where we used our physics knowledge to overcome obstacles.

The Music immersion: 

We listened, played along, sang / recreated Where is the Love (Black Eyed Peas) and American Idiot (Green Day). Discussed the context of these songs, analysed the lyrical content and their connections to war and conflict.

In HUMs The expedition was broken into two case studies, the first was called ‘The call to arms’ where we focused on looking at short and long term causes of the war, and how the men were recruited. We used the anchor text White Poppies to make links between English and History, comparing recruitment tactics.

The second case study, ‘The Horrors of War’, utilised the anchor text to explore through the medium of drama, the emotions felt by both those serving and those at home. We looked at primary sources such as photographs and letters from the trenches, to explore the reality of war in comparison to the anchor text. Understanding was developed further, by the analysis of poetry by First World War poets.

In Science the expedition studied the war through two case studies called, “The Chemistry of War” and “The Forces of War”.

In the first case study we looked at atoms, molecules and elements.  We studied how they interact and how chemists in the great war were able to create compounds and mixtures that both helped and harmed others.

In the second case study we examined how forces interact and cause objects, machines and weapons to change their speed, direction and shape.  This led us to consider whether they were helping or harming, uniting or dividing people.

Within Maths, we have explored the difference between proportional and none-proportional relationships, through looking at the speed of different objects . We have determined through multiplicative relationships such as Ratio and percentages whether the Allied forces or the central powers should have been victorious from a purely numerical standpoint. We then culminated this as an Infographic as a year group, which allows other year groups to recognise how much was used/wasted during World War 1. 

In Art we explored the different ways in which artists were inspired by the events surrounding them in World War One.  People like Otto Dix and CRW Nevinson created brutal images of death and organised destruction - whereas artists from the Dada movement including Hannah Hoch took refuge in the absurd, developing surrealist images.  We used this knowledge to create our own posters with both pro and anti war messages.  These were used in the final drama performance of White Poppies.

In Music we looked at WWI songs and practiced them on the ukulele. We progressed onto analysing song lyrics and poetry and how this influenced song creation. This was followed by song compositions with a war or conflict connection. An analysis of chord structure from the WWI songs influenced our compositions and song development.

Our product was a compilation of art work based on images from the Falklands to be passed on to the VC Trust at Doncaster Lakeside to use in their shops. We have also used the artwork to create a coffee table book.

In March 2023 the VCt will be returning to XP school to assist in their current project focusing on the question:

'Why is it important that we honour all those who make sacrifices in war?'

Victoria Cross Trust
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St Sepulchre Gate
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