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ISSUE 71 AUTUMN 2015 Full pdf


Peace Matters Index

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ONLINE contents
Selection from paper publication

- assassination inc uk
- believe it or not
- sinister forces at work
- keir hardie centenary
- writing for peace
- women making peace
- migration, climate and security
- we can stop wounding the world

Balanced Diet
| more

IN THIS TIME of centenary commemoration of World War One, the Peace Pledge Union is providing a different way of looking at the conflict by introducing a Writing for Peace competition for schools in the UK. We hope that teachers and their pupils will be interested in the Peace Pledge Union’s 2015 Writing for Peace Competition.

Entries may be by individual pupils only and the winning school will receive a prize of £500; a prize of £250 will go the runners up and £150 to the third place. In addition the three winning submissions will take pride of place, within a collection of other commendable submitted works, on the PPU web-site.
Pupils are being asked, in no more than 500 words of prose or poetry to express how a Conscientious Objector who refuses to kill or a man or woman opposed to the war may have felt during the First World War as they strove to make words of peace as resounding as those that were championing war.

The character could be a wife, a mother, a sister, a suffragette, an anti-war activist, a disillusioned munitions worker, a socialist, an anarchist, a soldier, a conscientious objector, a father, a brother, a priest or a trade unionist. In other words there is a great choice.

We are reminding schools that the Peace Pledge Union publication, Refusing to Kill, provides a comprehensive history of Conscientious Objection in World War 1 which includes the stories of men who in the First World War refused to take part in the killing of strangers – of men like themselves. The latest publication has been updated with a chapter on the Women’s Peace Movement in World War One.
Judges will be looking for imaginative approaches, that demonstrate empathy for an anti-war stance, engage the audience whilst showing some understanding of the context of the First World War.

They will also expect budding authors and poets to write clearly, effectively and imaginatively using persuasive phrases and words that are accurately spelt and grammatically correct that develop lucid and meaningful compositions. Expectations that in effect mirror Ofqual guidance for creative writing.
I am currently undertaking the task of trying to directly contact, by name, Heads of Department of English in schools across the country. This entails going onto each School website, identifying the appropriate contact and then e-mailing the schools with relevant information and an application form.

The deadline for entries is Friday 29 January 2016 with email entries being headed Writing for Peace and sent to Peace Education Officer The Peace Pledge Union 1 Peace Passage London N7 OBT.

Thus far I have contacted over 1300 schools in England and bearing in mind the deadline date I reckon I still have some time to tackle Wales and Scotland!
The military is targeting schools via Community Engagement Teams that as well as promoting recruitment to the armed services also offer a very one sided and positive view of military life and war very much at odds with a reality. It also omits to include any references to the devastating impact on civilians who are on the receiving end of British military force. In the words of Ben Griffin, founder of Veterans for Peace UK “the aim is to build unquestioning support for the military among the general population, especially the young”. For more information about Veterans for Peace UK go to www.veteransforpeace.org.uk

It is therefore important that the PPU continues to try and engage with schools to help provide an alternative perspective. Within the information that is currently being sent out to the schools is a downloadable flyer that is located within the Education section of the PPU website; a section that is currently being updated and which introduces some new teaching and learning materials including those related to school assemblies. I have suggested in my e-mail to Heads of Departments and teachers that this flyer entitled Are Your Pupils Getting a Balanced Educational Diet could be pinned up on their staffroom notice boards. So it may be that even if pupils don’t participate in the Writing for Peace Competition then teachers may be alerted to the fact that if they don’t think the balance is right then the PPU is in a position to offer, support, advice and teaching material on a variety topics.

Please pass on information about our Writing for Peace Competition to anybody you feel may be interested and If you have any ideas about how the PPU could further its work in engaging schools in peace education or wish to participate in such activity don’t hesitate to contact me.

Peter Glasgow

Peace Pledge Union, 1 Peace Passage, London N7 0BT. Tel +44 (0)20 7424 9444 contact   |  where to find us