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Enhanced Learning at The National Memorial Arboretum

Written by: Elmtree Press

Following a hugely successful 2016 which saw visits from Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Harry, the opening of its new Remembrance Centre and the reopening of the upgraded Armed Forces Memorial, the National Memorial Arboretum is broadening its educational offering with a new programme of special events for learning groups, aimed at enhancing schools’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development programmes or PHSCE schemes of work aimed at KS3-5 students, supplementing its existing offering that caters to KS1 upwards.
School children make up around 15,000 of the Arboretum’s annual visitors; this is expected to grow to 25,000 over the next few years thanks to a new learning space with larger classrooms and dedicated facilities for educational visitors. The site’s Professional Learning Team utilize the Arboretum’s living and memorial assets to generate a greater understanding of Remembrance – in an enjoyable and engaging way.

Learning Events
On 20 January, the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) will be delivering a workshop run by veteran Martin Kettrick in the Learning Centre. BLESMA (The Limbless Veterans charity) is an organisation that supports serving and ex-Service men and women who have lost limbs, or the use of limbs or eyes.

Martin will be telling his story of overcoming adversity and will give students the opportunity to ask him questions about his experience. The motivational workshop will enable KS3-5 students to explore how they can become resilient and set themselves goals for the future, improving confidence and self-esteem. Any establishment booking a Guided Tour (£90) through the Learning Centre for a group of up to 25 students on 20 January 2017 will receive this Focus Feature free of charge.

Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The experience will commence with a special Remembrance Service and talk in our Chapel, where candles are lit and time is taken to reflect.

Our Learning Team will oversee a Holocaust Focus Tour of relevant memorials and dedicated trees (60 minutes) as well as a classroom Focus Workshop (60 minutes). The Focus Workshop aims to highlight the importance of tolerance and acceptance of all demographic groups, as well as promoting British Values through the exploration of real life British Heroes of the Holocaust. The cost for this Focus Feature is £90 per group of 25 students.

On 31 July, the Arboretum will commence a full programme of Battle of Passchendaele 100 year commemorative events and exhibitions, including specific activities for learning groups.

Groups should contact education@thenma.org.uk to request further information about the learning offering at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Aysha Afridi, Head of Heritage and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Our new learning spaces and a schedule of exciting and engaging activities will ensure 2017 is one of our most successful years yet.  We look forward to welcoming thousands of learning visitors to the 150-acre Arboretum, which is free to enter and offers the chance to explore over 330 different memorials.

“Over the past ten years, we have worked to significantly improve the learning opportunities on offer. Our core objective is to look at the resources we have on site – the memorials, the local area and wildlife, and our experienced staff and volunteers. This is complemented by special commemorative activities; our Passchendaele 100 programme, to commemorate the centenary of this major WWI battle, will build on the success of our Somme Centenary activities and we hope to welcome many more groups as a result.”

For more details on visiting the arboretum click here