Eleanor Brown portrait

Written by Eleanor Brown

Head of Education Marketing at Capita

The British Army has developed new resources to help students aged 11-16 build their understanding of why it is important to commemorate significant groups in the history of the British Army. Focusing on diversifying the curriculum, This resource pack features Women in the Army, LGBTQ+ Voices and Black History resources with links to PSHE, History and Citizenship. 

Each of the resources are available for key awareness days in the school calendar and include ready-to-use lesson plans, assembly presentations, case studies and films to help students understand the changing roles of service people in the British Army throughout history, reflect on who we remember as a society or individuals and explore what it’s like to serve in the Army today. The resources are part of the British Army’s dedication to addressing the inequalities within the organisation and raising awareness of the contributions of service people both historically and now.

Women in the Army Resources

An excellent resource for International Women’s Day on March 8th, the Women in the Army resources have curriculum links to PSHE / Health and Wellbeing, Citizenship and History. The lesson plan offers interactive tasks to help young people to recognise and challenge harmful stereotypes and prejudice both at work and in society as a whole. Showcasing the significant roles women have played from the 1800s to today, the resources explore key terms such as feminism, gender and intersectionality, encouraging students to consider the evolving roles of women in the Army in the context of wider society. 

The assembly slides and the film builds on these key themes, showcasing the contributions and accomplishments of women in the Army and reflecting on the stories we remember. The assembly brings a specific focus to the history of women in wartime and features empowering women including Captain Flora Sandes, who was the only woman to fight on the front line of WWI, and Adelaide Hall, a jazz singer who entertained troops in WWII and was the first Black performer to be given a long-term contract with the BBC. 

LGBTQ+ Resources

Perfect for LGBT History Month 2020 in February, The LGBTQ+ Voices lesson resources show the progress made within the Army and in wider society with activities that celebrate the contributions of historical and current LGBTQ+ Army personnel, including WWI soldier Edward Brittain and Deborah Penny, the first trans soldier in the British Army. Students can also learn how they can be supportive of all LGBTQ+ people, and other groups and communities, through the allyship video resource.

By profiling six historical LGBTQ+ figures, such as the mathematician Alan Turing and poet Wilfred Owen, the assembly resource asks students to reflect on their contributions. This is followed by a film featuring current LGBTQ+ soldiers, addressing the significance of LGBTQ+ history to them and the progress that has been made by the Army to ensure everyone feels welcome.

Black History Resources  

These Black History digital resources for Key Stages 3 and 4 include an assembly and lesson plan to help students understand the stories of Black British, African and Caribbean service people who have often been unfairly excluded from the history books and help students consider some of the reasons for and effects of these omissions.

The assembly resource profiles service people from throughout history, while the interactive lesson resources offer source materials to help students build core historical skills and explore the contributions and stories of Black Britons, West and East Africans and Caribbean service people during World War One. The resources also offer examples of the impact of the war on different Black women, documenting case studies of a Trinidadian, British and an East African (from the Tanzania-Malawi border region) woman.

Questions at the end of each resource help facilitate discussions that address the significance of Black History Month and studying Black History more broadly and how this relates to modern discussions on race and diversity, including reflections from current Black soldiers to help build student’s discussions.

All the British Army resources can be downloaded for free online at: https://apply.army.mod.uk/base/lessons 

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