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Washington Academy Students Host Falkland’s Anniversary Veteran’s Lunch

Washington’s Remembrance Project sees students learn from the life stories of veterans

On Tuesday 12 July, Washington Academy students welcomed local veterans for an afternoon of commemoration as part of the school’s Remembrance Project. 

Eighteen students spent the afternoon in conversation with four veterans, including two who served in the Falklands War in 1982. The veterans in attendance thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon with the students across all years of the academy, who have been commemorating those who fell in the conflict. They said that the students asked pertinent and thought-provoking questions about their lives. The veterans said they are very much looking forward to linking up with Washington Academy again in November for the school’s Remembrance Day events.

Washington Academy’s Remembrance Project has seen students visit both World War 1 and World War 2 battlefields, host VE day events and guest speakers, and develop a World War 2 ‘Roll of Honour’ for the academy, and this is the first event the school has hosted to mark a more recent conflict. 

More recently the project saw students taking part in a military excavation of a trench at Roker Battery, had a tour of the gun battery site, and then had an insightful Q&A session with the archaeologist in charge of the site.

The students commented that it was fascinating to hear about the real-life experiences of the veterans and were interested in how those experiences differed between those who served in both conflict and peacetime. The students are very looking forward to meeting the veterans again.

Derek Austwick, Headteacher at Washington Academy, part of Consilium Academies, said: 

“Our relationships with our community is an essential part of our school life here at Washington Academy. Projects like these give the students the chance to experience events through the eyes of those who have incredible life stories to share and gives them the opportunity to engage with our local community in a way they may not usually do so. Our strong partnerships with our community groups allow us to offer academic experiences with real life context to our students, and we know that the benefits go both ways. There is a lot others can learn from our students too.” 

If you are a veteran and would like to attend future events, please contact Washington Academy’s Community Engagement Officer, Nicola Williamson, on or 0191 580 4742