Secret Stones help WWI study

Year 4 children and staff with their Secret Stones Project at Langney County Primary School Eastbourne. L-R, Lexi, Joseph, Evelyn, Jayden with Michelle Pollard and HT Ben Bowles (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180517-095251008
Year 4 children and staff with their Secret Stones Project at Langney County Primary School Eastbourne. L-R, Lexi, Joseph, Evelyn, Jayden with Michelle Pollard and HT Ben Bowles (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180517-095251008

Langney Primary School pupils are using the Secret Stones phenomenon, which has taken off in a big way in Eastbourne, as part of their World War I studies.

Secret Stones has seen thousands of painted pebbles hidden across the town. It is open to everyone but has become most popular with young families. Anyone can paint and hide the pebbles. The stones have instructions to photograph them and post on Facebook before re-hiding The game has become highly popular, with stones travelling across the world.

Michelle Pollard, from Langney Primary School, has incorporated the popular Secret Stones game into the children’s studies.

Michelle said, “Last week, our pupils took part in a History Art Week to learn about Joseph, part of which was the Secret Stones. All of our Year Four pupils and adults created a stone in memory of a WWI soldier.

“A note was attached to each of them explaining our project and asking the finder to return the stone to our school.

“It was hoped that the children might understand a little of what it was like to wait for loved ones to return from the war.”

The pupils then wrote accounts as if they were either a soldier or family member. They were put up in the school as part of Langney’s WWI exhibition space.

One said, “Every morning I either wake up scared or terrified. Today, I woke up terrified. Next door have got their son back but where are you? I’m so jealous. Please write back soon.’”

And another, “Out of nowhere, he arrived! I jumped around. I was the happiest girl ever! I would never be this happy again!”

Out of the 118 ‘soldiers stones’ pupils sent to ‘war’, 44 have returned.

Michelle said the reaction from the public has been outstanding with many feeling touched by the letters.