The school has close links with Farnhill and Kildwick Local History Group. During 2018, the school invited local historian Graham Taylor into school to help lead a history day based on the anniversary of the First World War. We looked through the school log books for activities the children were involved with at the time and tried to recreate some of these.
Farnhill & Kildwick Local History Group had been successful in obtaining a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for researching the lives of village men before, during and after the war. Some of our current pupils are relatives of these men. They wanted to find out what village life was like one hundred years ago and the social context in which these men lived.
Below is an extract from the project records about their visit to school.
Kildwick School WW1 Study Day, 23 February 2018
The project was invited to give a talk and participate in activities organised by the school during a WW1 study day. Two members of the project attended including the project co-ordinator, Graham, who gave a presentation during assembly explaining what it was like in the village and at school during the war and what happened to some of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers. The project members then joined the children and staff when they broke into mixed-age groups to undertake related activities which included:
- drawing portraits of the Farnhill WW1 Volunteers and pictures of airships like those that had passed down the Aire Valley during the war.
- knitting and weaving, reminiscent of the war effort and war time occupations for those back home
- studying and drawing maps to illustrate how the village had changed with the younger pupils colouring in pictures of terraced housing like that built in Farnhill over 100 years ago
- thinking of food shortages and how most food was home-made the children tried their hand at traditional bread and biscuit making. Just as the pupils had sold Yorkshire Parkin (a traditional cake made with treacle and ginger) to raise funds during WW1, so the children sold their baking at the end of the day to raise funds for their book club.
Kildwick WW1 Study Day 23 February 2018
As a member of the project team I was involved in a range of activities but for me, helping to organise the events and seeing the impact they have on young and old alike has been the highlight of the project.
Attending the WW1 History Day at the local primary school was especially memorable. After a talk by Graham, about what the village and school was like during the war, we joined in various activities including baking and knitting just like the children had done 100 years ago for the war effort. This gave us chance to talk about how things were different then. “No pizza, takeaways or microwaves” were just some of the things the children mentioned. From their comments and questions it was clear they were thinking about and understanding how times had changed. Helping to bring history to life and share it with others that day gave me a real sense of satisfaction. I have fond memories of attending this school when I was young and this gave me the chance to give something back. Helen Moran