A Chesterfield school has taken their learning to a new immersive level by incorporating a virtual reality experience as part of their English studies.
Year 7 at Brookfield Community School is studying Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, a story about a brotherly bond during World War 1.
As part of their learning around this year’s centenary, pupils are using virtual reality (VR) technology to explore the WW1 trenches, giving them a glimpse into the living conditions for millions of British soldiers.
Eckington-based educational VR company, Seymour & Lerhn, has provided the headset for Brookfield School and is sharing the trench tour as a free-to-access resource with all schools across the UK to mark November’s centenary.
English teacher at Brookfield Community School, Nick Davey, said: “Our pupils have really enjoyed using virtual reality technology as part of their studies.
“They’ve said how using the VR headset makes them more sympathetic to those who fought in the world wars and given them a better understanding of what life was like day-to-day.
“My colleagues, as well as pupils, have been really excited to try out this new way of learning. It’s been great to see our pupils get so much from it and I’d encourage other schools to get on board.”
The free learning resource is available to all schools in the UK between 1st-16th November, to help pupils learn more about the conditions soldiers endured during four years on the front line.
Available to access on interactive whiteboards, tablets and virtual reality headsets, classes can explore the trenches individually or in groups.
Pupils can pick between a narrated 360° virtual tour of the trenches, or the same interactive tour with poems from the time.
Gemma Hyland, Outreach Manager at Seymour & Lerhn said: “We’re using engaging technology to show school pupils a completely different world to the one they know today, but is likely one experienced by their great-grandparent’s generation.
“It’s important to mark the end of World War 1 and recognise the sacrifices made. We hope pupils will enjoy stepping into the past and learning about the war in this immersive way.”
Both VR experiences are also available in video format, so classes can explore the trenches together and come with a lesson plan to complete once they’ve navigated the tour.