Poetry and Poppies:
Stories from World War One


Explore the First World War in our whole-school primary school workshop

Inspired by the poets of the Great War, your children can investigate one of our most important historical events from an interactive, drama-based perspective.

Part history, part performance and part literature, the workshop’s focus is on the people of the Great War and their stories. The children create scenes that weave together poetry, interviews with soldiers, and personal accounts from the different people involved.

From Wilfred Owen to Siegfried Sassoon, and from the Christmas Day truce to final victory for the Allies, the sessions take an imaginative look at what World War One meant at the time and what it means today.

Learning Objectives

  • To use poetry and literature to build empathy and discover what life was like during the first world war.

  • To discover and retain key dates and historical information.

  • To empathise and think critically about the experiences of people who lived and died during the First World War.

  • To expand vocabulary and develop a stronger command of spoken English through a combination of poetry and prose.

Whole school workshop and performance

Children work class-by-class, each class focusing on a different perspective and theme from World War One. These include the young men as they are signing up to go to join the army, the British and German soldiers in the trenches, and the women of Britain whose lives were changed forever.

At the end of the day all classes come together to perform to each other, with the final presentation giving a chronological account of the war. Every child is involved in presenting their work within a soundscape that sets the scenes, interspersed with key dates and facts to give historical context.

The whole day option is perfect for a one form entry school or six KS2 classes. Two or three form entry schools take two or three days, with one class per year taking part on each day.

Individual workshops

Alternatively just a few classes can take part in individual sessions of between 40 - 90 minutes. These workshops combine professional theatrical techniques with the language of war poets and accounts from those who took part, taking an in-depth look at the World War One experience.

Guided by an expert drama facilitator, children will use their own creativity and imaginations to explore different themes and perspectives.

These sessions are tailored for KS1 or KS2. At the end of the day, morning or afternoon there is an optional sharing session when children have the chance to perform what they have worked on to each other.




An experienced drama facilitator experienced in working with primary school children, with a current Enhanced DBS check.


Exploring World War One through drama, movement, and literature, leading to a presentation to the other classes that have taken part.


All in your school hall!

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