75th anniversary of VE Day

April 30, 2020

The 8th May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE day when the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. It will be a different shared moment of celebration that was previously planned; however, the anniversary provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice, courage and determination of those involved that helped the nation at this time.

The announcement that the war in Europe had ended came at 3pm on 8th May 1945, by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  The day was celebrated with street parties and celebrations, and many people gathered outside Buckingham Palace dressed in Red, White and Blue. Although the day marked the end of the war in Europe it was not the end of World War Two and amongst the celebrations, there was also a great deal of sadness for those who had lost loved ones in the war and for those who were still fighting or were still held as a prisoner of war.

‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead’ Winston Churchill.

There are several activities within Purple Mash that can be used by children to commemorate VE Day. Why not use 2Paint A Picture to recreate a VE Day street party and use 2Design and Make for children to create their own crowns to wear at their own home celebration, children can even create their ownbunting! They could also research the events of VE Day and write a newspaper report from May 8th 1945, explaining what happened as well as capturing the thoughts of people on the day.  VE Day did not mean the end of the war and rationing stayed in place throughout the country, children could use this template to find out more about rationing in WW2 and how it affected the people of Britain.

Each day next week, an activity focusing on VE day will also feature on our teacher blog that schools can set for their children, ranging from setting a quiz, making the most of writing tools and using MashCams in lessons.  A different activity/lesson idea will be posted each day. The weekly activities for KS2 next week will also have a VE day focus.

Why not use one of these activities to take part in the VE Day Challenge by Dan Snow and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. They're asking you to think about how you would tell the story of VE Day today, this could be in the form of a drawing, newspaper report or a poem. You can find out more details and how to post your entry here.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the British Legion are encouraging communities to unite in recognition of the service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago. They have created a VE day learning pack for children aged 7-14 years and are encouraging communities to join in with a UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. They have also created a message board so people can join in to remember, celebrate and honour brave men and women of World War 2 and our Armed Forces community.

Whatever you do to commemorate VE day we would love to see your #VEDay75 work on Twitter @2SimpleSoftware or @PurpleMash, or on Facebook @2SimpleUK.