On Monday 3rd December Northgate welcomed some special visitors into the Year 7, 8 and 9 assembly. Dereham Mayor, Hilary Bushell, Hugh King and David Whitehead from the Norfolk Branch of the Royal British Legion.
Mr Mason started the assembly talking about the involvement of Head Boy David and Head Girl Katy in the Remembrance torch relay at the start of half term (which you can read here), representing the younger generation and continuing our aim for peace across the world. He also showed some pictures from our Remembrance Service on 9th November where members of the community came together at Northgate in their act of remembrance, organised by Mr MacDonald.
Our guests came to announce the winner and runners up in a competition launched back in October to commemorate 100 years since the Armistice. Mrs Mottley, Head of Art and Design, explained to students that Northgate had been specially selected by the Royal British Legion to hold a competition for Northgate and Dereham Sixth Form Students to design a piece of artwork to mark remembrance and the centenary. She mentioned that she’d been overwhelmed by the quality of artwork produced with a number of outstanding pieces creating a superb display in the main foyer which visitors to our Remembrance Service were able to view.
Mayor Hilary Bushell spoke about how proud she was of Northgate’s involvement in events over the last year and the Town Council wanted to thank the school. Mr King reminded students that Northgate is one of only a handful of schools across the country to be affiliated with the Royal British Legion, a real honour. Mr Mason then announced the two runners up Maddison, Year 8 and Rose, Year 11 who each received a certificate and £50 prize donated by the Royal British Legion. Eleanor, Year 12, was then announced as the overall winner, receiving a prize of £100 for her outstanding piece of work.
Explaining her art work, Eleanor said, ‘This piece was created to represent bravery within World War One. This was seen in the great sacrifices made by all who fought in the war, those who remained and lost loved ones, as well as the new responsibilities for women which lead towards a significant movement in their rights. The First World War offered women unprecedented opportunities in work, training them in new areas of expertise and leading to over a million women entering into paid employment. Given the importance of woman’s contributions to the war effort, over 8.4 million women were allowed to vote. This held great importance in the suffragette movement. ‘No nation is sustained, either in peace or in war, by the work of one sex only; it is sustained by the work of both sexes combined. And this, which we have always perceived, has come to many as a revelation, made clear by the great search-lights of war’ (Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1917). I believe the woman in my piece represents this bravery. I presented her facial features to portray her emotions as being that of a mother, daughter or partner to symbolise the loss of loved ones and their bravery. In the locket is a silhouette of a soldier to represent the bravery of the millions who fought for us.’
Finally the school was presented with a special gift by Mr Whitehead, called ‘The Resting Place’ to commemorate the occasion which was received by Mr Mason and Mr MacDonald. It was bestowed on the youngest Captain or Officer to carry the colours at the Queen’s Trooping of the Colour as the responsibility was then handed over to the next generation. This is a trust and responsibility we continue to have in our youth, that they will continue to mark remembrance, work towards peace and support the work of the Royal British Legion in the future.
A big thank you to our special guests and congratulations to all who entered the competition.