Introduction for Teachers

This pack presents enquiry-led explorations of how the Second World War left its mark on one area of coastal Suffolk through the surviving remains of civil defence works of 1940-41 and through a virtual recreation of Walberswick during those years based on surviving documentary and archaeological evidence. There are three teaching and learning approaches focussing on both the real site today, the evidence for what happened here in 1940-41 and the virtual site, the interpretation of Walberwick's civil defences in 1940-41. The approaches and ideas are designed to be cross-curricular - incorporating elements of history, geography, English, ICT, literacy and citizenship.

1. Invasion! provides teachers and students the opportunity to:

  • Consider the consequences of Britain's declaration of war on Germany in September 1939 and how national events affected the local area
  • Explore the issues, possibilities, choices and consequences the Civil Defence planners faced in 1940
  • Understand the potential threat of invasion particularly after May 1940 and as a task force, actively plan how they would defend this section of the coast against invasion
  • Use historic photographs, archive material, maps and archaeological remains to investigate the Civil Defence tactics and strategies used in Walberswick in 1940
  • Use the virtual site to compare students' civil defence planning and evaluate how effective their plans would have been

2. Blocks on the Beach - Secret Walberswick offers teachers and students the opportunity to:

  • Explore the real site of Walberswick today with its coastal defence remains either on a visit or through the eyes of Milly, a child visiting today
  • Explore the virtual site of 1940-41 Walberswick - Southwold
  • Use historic photographs, archive material, maps and archaeological remains to investigate Walberswick in the past and to understand the real site today
  • Use other sources such as the internet to investigate the past and ways of presenting the past
  • Use the virtual site as a resource for developing interpretation panels, audio guides and walking tours of Walberswick in World War 2

 

3. The Amazing Story of Walberswick at War takes a literary text already popular with KS2, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo, and looks at how the past can be recreated and interpreted through a literary work and the creation of a virtual world.

  • There are also additional notes, a timeline of local, national and international events and other resources online to support these enquiries.

References and other sources

Suffolk Memories - Stories of Walberswick and Blythburgh people during World War II compiled by David Shirreff and Arthur Sharman, The Yard Press, Sudbury, Suffolk 1998

Further Suffolk Memories - More Stories of Walberswick and Blythburgh people during World War II compiled by Arthur Sharman and Patricia Wythe, The Yard Press, Sudbury, Suffolk 2001

Suffolk's Defended Shore - Coastal Fortifications from the Air by Cain Hegarty and Sarah Newsome, English Heritage, Swindon 2007

East Anglia at War 1939-1945 by Derek E. Johnson, Jarrold Publishing, Norwich 1994

The Battlefields that Nearly Were - Defended England 1940 by William Foot, Tempus Publishing Ltd, Stroud 2006

Learning Curve - The National Archives

The Learning Curve - War


Home Front Heroes (resources from Suffolk Record Office for local impact of WW2 for KS2)