World Famous Film Director Peter Jackson ('Lord of The Rings' / 'The Hobbit' / 'King Kong') has finished his WW1 film, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD. The Director said "I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more - rather than be seen only as Charlie Chaplin-type figures in the vintage archive film. By using our computing power to erase the technical limitations of 100 year cinema, we can see and hear the Great War as they experienced it.”
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD has been created exclusively with original footage from Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from BBC archives.
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation.
Footage has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present never before seen detail. : A hundred years after the First World War, we know much about the horrific impact of this conflict on its soldiers, especially the brutal scale of the casualties which decimated a generation, but this film offers new understanding of the human experience of life at the front. Using original audio and moving image archive he allows the soldiers to tell their own stories.
The work his team have done on the materials, adding colour and converting to 3D, is painstaking and beautiful. It makes these people from 100 years ago seem so alive and gives an uncanny sense the footage was shot recently.
If your school would like to experience what it was like for a British Tommy, come on our Schools WW1 Residential Experience. There's more information here.
A Message From X Platoon HQ:
The following report was written by a young attendee of our recent WW1 Residential Course. We have not edited her work in any way. We are immensely proud to have had the honour of meeting this exceptional young lady; the quality of her writing and her summary of our content is outstanding. Without doubt, she has a wonderful career ahead of her in whatever she chooses to do. Read on, Dear Reader. Read on...
One word: XPlatoon. But that one word has an endless list of meanings: adventure of a lifetime, confidence building, learning to cope on your own… as I have already said the list goes on and on. So let me take you on a journey back in time to my experience at XPlatoon…
Tue 22 May:
Today’s the day - this was D Day. After all the preparation, it was finally the day that we were going to XPlatoon. I woke up half an hour earlier than normal this morning because I was so excited. All of my bags were packed and I was ready to go. As I walked into school, all of my friends were really excited and weighed down with bags. I had to help them carry everything!
We boarded the bus and everyone was really excited, we were all singing and chattering. On arrival, we met Steve Heaney MC, who gave us a safety briefing and sorted us in to our sections. Then, we walked to Camp Poppy, (the campsite) before unpacking our bags in the tents and settling in. My ‘tent mate’ and I were laughing and joking, we even said the tent was like a 5* hotel! Next, we ate our packed lunches and got ready for the afternoon’s activities.
Team challenges first: Move the cannon safely, transport water, carry toxic waste and retrieve supplies. There was a rivalry between the sections, as we knew the section who scored the most points would win a prize, and we (Section 1) wanted that prize! For us, it was really easy to work as a team, but it was the opposite for some of the boys. It felt like we were doing the Bush-tucker trials in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!
After the activities, we had our tea, which was chicken casserole, (but I had a cup of roast potatoes) with a chocolate bar too. We had to wash our own dishes because we were living like WW1 military soldiers. Once we had eaten, we had independent time with our friends. Everyone was running around and chattering until about 9:30pm. To end off the day, we sat around the campfire, listening to Steve’s stories and toasting marshmallows. Finally, our classmate (Harry) played the Last Post. We went to our tents and that’s when the party started!
Although I was upset and homesick at the time, looking back it was quite fun keeping Mrs. Hargreaves up until 1:30 in the morning!
Wed 23 May:
“Get up lazy bones!” was our rude awakening accompanied by the dreaded noise of the bugle this morning. We gave each other the death stare. “What time is it?” asked my friend Jazmin. I looked at the watch and gulped, “It’s 6:46, we’re not even out of bed!” I said in panic. We threw our clothes on and ran out of the tent to the campfire.
It was early PT; I had a blistering headache and hadn’t eaten since last night, never again will I put myself through it! Finally, after the hardest hour of my life, we went back to camp and smelt the delicious smell of bacon. By this point I was so hungry that I thought I was going to faint! But in the end it was worth waiting for, breakfast was incredible!
Afterwards we ventured into the woods to do a fire making activity. The fire was really warm, and we were so cold, it felt so good! The girls’ fire was ‘flaming brilliant’; it was up within minutes, unlike the boys’, so fair play to us! Next, we went back to camp for our lunch.
All afternoon we navigated through the woods. One boy in the class tripped over a nettle bush and stung his knee four times! Anyway, we carried on using our compasses and finding our bearings every now and then. Who needs an inaccurate GPS now?
Dinner was pasta and meatballs with tiger bread, which was delicious. We were so hungry that we ate every last crumb! Then we ran around before toasting marshmallows and having a campfire. Finally, we went to bed and we were all really tired!
Thurs 24 May:
Last day at XPlatoon today! I was just starting to get used to living in the outdoors, but now we were leaving. Jazmin and I woke people up this morning, it was really funny! Breakfast was before anything else, which was great as I was starving this morning. No headache today, as I got to sleep much earlier last night and we had a cheeky lie in ‘til 6:50am. Breakfast was brilliant, a great start to the day.
The first thing on the agenda was water purification. We made water filters and then, well, filtered the dirty water through it. It was actually fun as we got the opportunity once more to work as a team.
The final activity was the obstacle course, the best one outside of the military! Never have I thought that I could complete something so big. It required teamwork, competitiveness, perseverance, and many more values. We were competing in sections, and although we came third, it was still extremely fun. The glory I felt when we rang the bell at the end was incredible! This was my favourite activity.
After that we had our lunch and the awards ceremony. I won a medal for my ‘resilience through tough times’. This made me feel very proud of myself. I was also very proud that the Girls’ section won overall. Finally, we got on the bus and travelled home.
So, to sum things up, would I recommend visiting XPlatoon? Yes, I certainly would! Thanks to XPlatoon, our first residential was a life-changing one.
St. Mary’s RC Primary School
This behind-the-scenes clip of Tom Cruise preparing for his new film will give you a idea of what X Platoon's Steve Heaney MC's did as part of his job.
Steve was regarded as one of the most accomplished parachutists in the military and was at the leading edge of high altitude parachuting, helping to advance most of the techniques that are employed by Special Forces today...such as High Altitude Low Opening (HALO), High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) and the space age High Altitude Parachutist Life Support System (HAPLSS); an insertion method designed to allow operators to jump from altitudes well above 30000 feet.
If you would like to hear some of his breathtaking stories in person, book a Family Adventure place at X Platoon - we have one coming up on 18th/19th August. Don't delay. Places are limited.
We read a very interesting article in The Guardian this week, written by Patrick Barkham. We'd like you to read it....
For two weeks now, the media has descended on the nursery – Dandelion Education – attended by two of my children, as it was judged the country’s best nursery at the 2017 Nursery World awards.
This might have remained an obscure industry prize were it not for the fact that, unusually, Dandelion is an outdoor nursery and forest school. My four-year-old, Ted, spends his Dandelion days playing outdoors, in all weathers, in a place where plastic toys are banned and children build their own with real tools.
We noticed such a beneficial impact on Ted that we asked our local primary school to allow another of our children, Esme, to flexi-school and join Dandelion two days a week. The school’s enlightened head agreed.
For the past six months, I’ve volunteered a day a week at Dandelion too. This began as book research but it has brought less expected, more important benefits. Young children are the funniest, most enthusiastic colleagues imaginable. Watching Dandelion’s founders, Emma Harwood and Hayley Room, facilitate child-led learning and defuse conflict has been a massive educational experience for me as a parent. And I’ve been surprised how I beam at each day’s end: outdoor learning is good for adult health too.
As a consequence, outdoor education no longer seems radical to me, despite the dramatic impact of Dandelion’s fire circle on TV news or tabloid pictures of slightly demonic-looking “tots” wielding electric drills.
I’ve been impressed with how the tabloids have covered Dandelion’s success in good faith, but mostly I’ve glowed with pride at the recognition for Harwood and Room, who set up Dandelion against all odds and continue to labour all hours to make it work. Reading online comments by Sun and Daily Mail readers is transformative too. I assumed that forest schooling was a middle-class lefty passion, but rightwingers love getting children outdoors again and banishing “elf and safety”.
Is the penny dropping? All five shortlisted nurseries at the awards were outdoor operations.
Policymakers across the political spectrum should take note: making outdoor learning part of conventional early years education could be as popular as free school dinners.
Teachers must stop trying to wrap children in cotton wool with over-the-top health and safety policies, the chief inspector of schools has said.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Amanda Spielman said it stopped the children developing resilience and grit. She wants the education watchdog Ofsted to prepare new guidance for schools inspectors in England. Ms Spielman said making pupils wear high-vis vests on trips made them look like mini-builders minus the hard hats. She said schools had developed an over-cautious culture that made it difficult for young people to cope with everyday events.
While individual schools have imposed bans on playing conkers and on pupils bringing toys such as yo-yos over the years, the Health and Safety Executive point outs there has never been official regulation. And Ms Spielman said every minute enforcing bans on conkers and yo-yos was a minute away from tackling a multitude of real dangers.
"I want Ofsted to make sure that schools are properly focused on pupil safety but that it doesn't come at the expense of opportunities to broaden and enrich young minds," she said. "My message to schools is this - keeping children safe from harm should always be your overriding concern but in doing so make sure you distinguish between real and imagined risk. "Trying to insulate your pupils from every bump, germ or bruise won't just drive you to distraction, it will short-change those pupils as well, limiting their opportunity to fully take advantage of the freedom of childhood and to explore the world around them."
Next month, 1,800 school inspectors will take part in sessions to ensure they focus only on the safeguarding of vulnerable children. Ms Spielman said she looked forward to seeing more eager young faces on trips in the next school year but hopes "fewer of them will be auditioning for Bob the Builder".
While building our website we did a lot of reading and came across some thought provoking quotes. One in particular went like this: "You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you've been waiting for to fall into place." — Anthony Robbins
We are working to make X Platoon a life instigator such as this.
I've just learned that a recent survey found that 13 per cent of Britons hadn’t gone for a stroll in the countryside for the past 24 months or more, with some confessing to being ‘city-bound’ for even longer. One-third also couldn’t identify a barn owl from a photo and two-thirds had no idea what a turtle dove was.
Amazingly, one-in-five of the people polled said they had never seen a toad, with one-in-seven saying they had never seen a hedgehog either. One-in-three couldn’t identify an oak tree, with three-quarters unable to pick out a hawthorn or ash tree.
The study was commissioned by Jordans Cereal on behalf of the Jordans Farm Partnership, which brings together The Wildlife Trusts, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), The Prince’s Countryside Fund and 40 British farms that grow cereals for Jordans.
Seven-in-10 Brits said they felt that they had lost touch with nature, in a poll of 2,000 Brits. Gary Cunningham, 37, of Hackney, east London, said: ‘I used to go to the countryside all the time as a kid, but in the last few years I’ve been stuck in the city. ‘It’s hard to get away, what with work and seeing friends at the weekends. ‘The last time I went away to the countryside was in 2014 when I went to Wales on a camping trip."
Source: Mail Online