Students present battlefields talk

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Two Ilkeston students who went on a tour of World War One battlefields have been talking to primary school pupils about their experience.

Bethan Sansome, 13 and Paulina Burns, 14, from Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy, were selected for the five-day trip which saw them visiting battlefields in Belgium and France.

The battlefields tours are part of a government programme to involve students in commemorating the centenary of World War One.

Bethan and Paulina prepared a presentation about their trip, which they have delivered to students at the academy and year three and four pupils at Cotmanhay Junior School.

They talked to the pupils about war, conflict and propaganda and asked them to design a poster which would persuade young men to go to war.

The girls also talked about how they researched two local figures, Private Marshall Swain and Francis Leonard Hunter Jackson, both from Ilkeston.

Joel Smith, assistant principal for achievement, accompanied students on the battlefields trip.

He said: “I’m so proud of Bethan and Paulina. This has been such a journey for the two girls which has seen them really grow as individuals as well as students.

Simon Robinson, head teacher at Cotmanhay Junior School, said: “The pupils from OIEA were excellent. Their presentation really grabbed the imaginations of our primary children.”