Pupils took time out to commemorate those who fought and died for their country, and to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.
Andy Bull, Head of Fitzroy House at Lawn Manor Academy, said pupils have recently been researching Commonwealth War Graves in cemeteries and churchyards in Swindon, and learning about the history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Mr Bull, who together with his colleague Natasha Dixon, is an Army Reservist, took a short service in the grounds of Lawn Manor Academy. This included the last post and readings and was attended by the school’s head girl and head boy and members of the senior management team. A year 10 pupil, Luke, who is an Army Cadet, took part in the laying of a wreath.
The service was broadcast to pupils in classrooms and a two-minute silence was observed.
Mr Bull said that it remains incredibly important for every generation to understand the sacrifices that service personnel have made in order to make the world a safer place.
He added: “'For your tomorrow, we gave our today’ sums it up for me. It’s easy to forget that the freedoms that we enjoy have come at great cost. It is important that we do remember to ensure that those rights and freedoms continue. We can only do that by educating young people that rights have to be defended. We want our young people to be up-standers who care about the world around them and want to be the architects of their own future.”
Mr Bull said the role of the Royal British Legion continues to be relevant today.
He continued: “The Royal British Legion was born from an amalgamation of several servicemen’s organisations 100 years ago.
“It was a reaction to the terrible suffering and trauma that a generation of men and their families were going through in the early 1920s. Carrying the physical and mental scars of war at a time of high unemployment, was one of the key reasons for the foundation of the Poppy Appeal to help unemployed veterans gain employment. The idea of a national collective of people with a painful shared past, was a way many people were able to heal after the horrors they had experienced.
“Today, we have no veterans of the First World War and ever fewer from the Second World War. However, the work of the Royal British Legion assumes the same importance today as it did 100 years ago. It provides help and support for care and independent living, physical and mental wellbeing and employment support, as well as providing local community connections.”
Mr Bull and Ms Dixon are reservists and say this enables them to add value to their work at Lawn Manor Academy.
They said: “We both love teaching, but life as an army reservist acts as a counterpoint to that. It is something different to challenge us by developing skills such as teamwork and leadership. Learning about new ways of working and taking on new challenges, whether this be adventurous training or new sports.
"As well as the new skills, the links we have made through being reservists to other reservists have been invaluable. We have had reservists from our unit lead on personal development days here at Lawn Manor as well as with presentations to students about Women in Science, Technology and Engineering.”