Home Front - the civilian war effort


This learning journey is an introduction to some of the things people would have experienced on the home front during the Second World War.

The experiences described here can be explored at The James Herriot Museum through role play and interactive exhibitions recreating the sights and sounds of the 1940s home front.

The war started on3 September 1939 and although everyone kept saying “It’ll be over by Christmas”, peace didn’t come until 1945.

The whole population played an active part in the war effort, including children. The civil defence services were ready to recruit volunteers, distribute gas masks, erect shelters and prepare buildings and streets for the blackout. Volunteers were trained in fire fighting and emergency procedures. Protective shelters were erected in streets, gardens and in homes information for refuge rooms was issued. You will find out what life was like in these shelters by reading on and also experience even more by carrying out the excieting activities,worksheets and quizzes we have on offer throughout the journey.

Curriculum Links

KS1 and KS2History:

Chronological understanding

Unit 1a - place events, people and changes into their correct time periods
Unit 1b - employ dates and vocabulary associated with the passage of time include use of decade

Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past

Unit 2a - about features characteristic of the period studied, incorporating the experiences of their people
Unit 2b - identify and provide reasons for, and results of, the events studied, and their results

Historical interpretation

Unit 3a - to realise that the past is represented in various ways and offer reasons

Historical enquiry
Unit 4a - to discover about events, people and changes studied, derived from a suitable range of information sources, ICT included
Unit 4b - to ask and provide answers to questions, selecting / recording information relevant to the core of enquiry

Organisation and communication
Unit 5a - remember, select and organise historical information
Unit 5c - convey knowledge and understanding of history in various ways

KS1 and KS2 PSHEand Citizenship:

  • Thinking about and analysing information
  • Expressing personal opinion
  • Contributing to class discussion
  • Using imagination to consider other people’s experiences

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