Last week marked the centenary of the armistice ending the First World War – a war that claimed millions of lives and whole communities, including 50 former pupils from MCS. To honour their sacrifice, Thursday and Friday became days of remembrance when all students from J1 to Upper Sixth were off timetable to allow for a multitude of commemorative activities and talks. Friday also included two incredible performances of Reflections (our WW1 play) for all students from J4 to Upper Sixth. The events ranged from a discussion of the morality of war with Middle School to baking ANZAC biscuits with J2 to workshops on women’s role in war with the Sixth Form.
In Senior School the cross-subject endeavours such as disease in war (art and biology) and codebreaking (DT and physics) were particularly fascinating as they allowed the pupils to make connections between the difference and varied disciplines. The theme of remembrance stretched even to games lessons as students competed in tug of war and football learning how these were important to the training and morale of troops.
There was also a focus on the significance of music in wartime with Junior School learning ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’ and ‘It’s a Long Way To Tipperary’ and the whole of Senior School learning Ivor Novello(OW)’s ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ in house rooms. This song was deeply influential in the war effort in WW1 and also featured heavily in Reflections as Novello’s role in the war was explored. Reflections itself was movingly honest, walking the line between funny at points and incredibly sad at others as it discussed people’s excitements, tragedies, and hardships in the war from Oxford to the Front.
You can read a full review here.