An exciting new digital education resource to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day has been launched that will allow children across the country to learn about and celebrate this important milestone, despite the lockdown.
Poppyscotland’s new interactive resource will be delivered over the charity’s extensive social media channels and Learning website from now until 8 May. The innovative new educational tools have been created by Poppyscotland in partnership with the Scottish Government and Legion Scotland.
The launch of a new 40-page ‘VE Day 75 Schools Pack’ took place at Christie Park Primary School, in Alexandria, earlier this month and was expected to be used in classrooms across the country in the run-up to VE Day on 8 May.
However, with Scotland in the grip of a global pandemic, the Learning team at Poppyscotland has worked tirelessly in recent days to ensure that a host of resources are available online for pupils to use as part of their new home-working regimes – especially as the physical events surrounding VE Day itself have been postponed or cancelled.
The VE Day 75 resources contain an abundance of facts and stories about what was life was like for those living through the Second World War, and includes sections on evacuees, rationing and Churchill’s famous VE Day speech. Pupils are being encouraged to discover more about how the War impacted on their local community and to stage their own ‘virtual’ VE Day Party.
Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd said:
“During the current outbreak of Covid-19, educational continuity is of paramount importance and we have already seen an incredible response from all corners of the education system. Poppyscotland’s exceptional efforts during this difficult period will allow children throughout Scotland to continue to access these wonderful Second World War educational resources.
“It is vital that current and future generations have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those who lived and served, both at home and abroad, throughout the Second World War. It is thanks to their efforts and sacrifices that we now have the freedom and relative peace that so many of us take for granted today.”
Gordon Michie, Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising and Learning, added:
“The 75th Anniversary of VE Day is an important milestone in our nation’s history and it is vital that young people understand its significance. And, as we navigate our way through lockdown, what better way to be able to do this than for pupils to take part in Facebook Live lessons and ideas for activities at home that we have created.”
“As well as ensuring future generations have an understanding of our past, we hope to stimulate contemporary conversations about the significance of remembrance and its importance to society today. The VE Day 75 resources are the latest way in which we are doing that, and we are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government and Legion Scotland for their input in helping us to develop such an innovative and comprehensive offering.”
Like many others, Second World War veteran Ian Forsyth had been looking forward to taking part in a special VE Day celebration on 8 May until the Covid-19 outbreak forced its postponement. However, Mr Forsyth’s incredible story features as part of the digital resource and he is delighted to see the unveiling.
“While we cannot congregate to celebrate VE Day, it is heartening to know that we have something in place that will allow us to come together as a country and learn about what was an incredibly important moment in our history. I would encourage all youngsters to get online to find out more about what life was like 75 years ago.”
Dr Claire Armstrong, the CEO of Legion Scotland, added:
“We had some very exciting plans for VE Day, including a huge parade and free open-air concert in Edinburgh’s Princes Gardens, which have been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. With more than 100 Second World War veterans planning to attend, not to mention thousands of members of the public, this was unavoidable.
“However, these new digital resources will ensure the learning component of the VE Day commemorations can seamlessly switch from the classroom to family homes. Although we cannot meet face to face for the celebrations as planned, these resources will be a wonderful way for young people to come together and learn about life in World War Two and we can’t wait for them to share their photos, work and ideas on the VE Day 75.”
The new resources will be launched via Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland’s Facebook channels on Monday 30 March 2020. New activities, films and lessons will be published each day thereafter until the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May. For more information visit:
Notes to Editors
- For further information or to speak to arrange an interview, please contact David A. Findlay, PR Manager at Poppyscotland/Legion Scotland, on 079797 35611, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. David will be among the media contacts present on the day.
- Pictures are free to use. Where appropriate, please credit: Poppyscotland/Mark Owens.
- For further information from the Scottish Government, please contact Christopher Johnson, Communications DFM, Education & Justice – Media Manager, on 0131 244 2939, or 07580 750 033, or at Christopher.Johnson@gov.scot.
- On 7th May 1945, Nazi Germany formally and unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces, bringing to an end six years of War. The following day was declared VE (Victory in Europe) Day and millions of people celebrated, marking the victory with street parties, dancing and singing. The Scottish Government has moved the May Bank holiday to 8th May to coincide with the VE Day anniversary.
- Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. Please note that we are known as “Poppyscotland”, and not “PoppyScotland” or “Poppy Scotland”. For more information, please visit us at: www.poppyscotland.org.uk.
- The Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland), is the largest ex-Service membership charity in Scotland working at the heart of the community, supporting veterans of all ages and from all conflicts. With more than 140 branches, 61 clubs and 23,000 members, Legion Scotland, working in partnership with other organisations, provides veterans in the community with three key services covering remembrance, comradeship and befriending whilst supporting the welfare services and fundraising initiatives of Poppyscotland. Contact Legion Scotland at New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HQ, or telephone 0131 322 1076. For more information on Legion Scotland’s work, please visit: www.legionscotland.org.uk.