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Women & Leisure During the FWW

Women and Leisure During the First World War saw Cap-a-Pie deliver drama activity for Year 3 pupils that shared stories of what North East women were doing during the First World War.

We investigated stories and information about women’s work; women’s football; choirs and entertainment; and notable women in the North East such as Ruth Dodds with three classes from the East End of Newcastle. Each class created a small variety show which was performed in front of their school.

Pupils were asked to compare their own experience of the world to that of people 100 years ago and to think about the role and expectations of women during that time. Thanks to a ‘Box of Delights’ from Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, we were able to show real objects from the FWW including children’s books, cigarette cards, soft toys and a white feather.

“I liked and learned a lot about Vesta Tilley. She was a famous star.” Year 3 Pupil

 “My favourite part was singing ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. I learned about Pierrot groups and what they did.” Year 3 Pupil

“This project allowed children who are normally shy to come out of their shell. Children were empowered by performing in front of their peers. Aside from personal outcomes the children also developed a greater understanding of life during World War One. I believe that the use of drama allowed the children to develop a greater empathy and understanding of this.” Year 3 Teacher

This project was delivered by:

Cap-a-Pie in collaboration with Year 3 children at Hotspur Primary School and St Lawrence RC Primary School in the East End of Newcastle as well as Dr Stacy Gillis, Dr Emma Short, and Dr Paul Wright (all from Newcastle University) who were working on a project, funded by the AHRC’s “Living Legacies 1914-1918” Centre, and with volunteer citizen researchers Polly Hunt and Janet Longbottom.


Heritage Lottery Fund

Newcastle University