World War Two Spy School

Primary Education  

Billesley Primary School
December 2014

We worked with Year Six to develop their learning about World War Two through a week long series of challenges. On the first day after a whistle stop revision of the progress of the war we inducted the students into the Billesley Special Operations Department. This provided us with the opportunity to find out about a part of the history of the war that is somewhat less well known and a focus for the week’s work. Following their swearing an oath of secrecy their first task was to learn about different coding techniques, passing encoded messages between the two classes. They then built simple morse codemachines using cardboard, gaffa tape and tin foil food trays.

The second day saw the students tackling a series of short challenges including map interpretation, first aid and creating dazzle camouflage. We then moved on to look at the role of propaganda both written and visual. The recruits wrote their own piece of counter propaganda in response to a piece of Nazi propaganda following the bombing of a Birmingham factory. They then designed their own posters which using blue screen technology we then recreated to feature the students themslves.

On subsequent days the recruits created models of camouflage shelters and learned French to equip them for being landed behind enemy lines. They also completed a session on memory and observation skills and had a chance to practice their interrogation techniques. The week ended with a passing out parade and the presentation of certificates of completion. Throughout the week using the frame of being recruits to the Special Operations Department the students practised various skills including teamwork, creative writing, problem solving, creating simple technology, model making and graphic design.


Led by: Craig Stephens and Iain Smith with Chris. Dugrenier and Charlotte Goodwin
Photos: Ming De Nasty