HI-TECH HELP FOR HISTORY LESSON; Schoolkids Are Up for Education Award after Making Film Bringing World War Two Evacuation to Life

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Byline: By Craig McQueen

AS the years pass, we're used to hearing that today's children know less and less about history.

But for the pupils of Dunning Primary School, near Perth, a local wartime story feels fresh in their memory.

Dunning was the destination for some of the children evacuated from Glasgow to escape the air raids whenWorld War Two began.

To bring the story to life, the school's Primary Seven pupils made a film of the event by restaging their own evacuation.

Now the school has been nominated for the 2009 Scottish Education Awards in the ICT Learning category.

Primary Seven teacher Julie Menzies said: "The local historical society have very good links with the school.

"A couple of years ago, they made a video where the original evacuees came back to Dunning and spoke about their memories.

"We showed that to the children and we decided to make our own film that recreated the experiences these people would have had.

"It gave a very local focus to our study ofWorldWar Two, and the historical society helped us out by setting up a mock evacuation for us in the local village hall.

"The children then made the rest of the film themselves by writing a storyboard, filming it and then editing it."

With the help of their teachers, the school's 15 Primary Seven pupils were involved in every part of the film-making process, from planning right through to editing.

MrsMenzies said: "We made all our own props, too.

"The gas mask boxes were made out of cereal boxes, the gas masks themselves were made in an art lesson, and we researched all the kinds of documentation children would have been given at the time such as ID cards and ration books so we could recreate them.

"We even had an air raid siren which we used to hold our own drill.

"And on the day of the mock evacuation, the children all came dressed in the sorts of clothes that children would have been wearing back then. They were also given a list of things to take with them. This was the same list that the government gave to families whose children were being evacuated, so they all packed their own case to make it even more authentic."

The efforts of Dunning Parish Historical Society were also key in making sure the film was as realistic as possible.

MrsMenzies said: "On the day of the mock evacuation, members of the historical society were in costume and they re-enacted the whole thing for the children.

"And the children really enjoyed it. We did a lot of the filming outdoors, and we managed to overcome the problems we encountered by using green-screening to project images of the countryside into the background and things like that. …