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Wednesday 28th April 2010 by C. Freeman
Year 7 students built their own model countries during a project about war and conflict. As part of the citizenship curriculum they initially talked about war with reference to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, then they gained a greater understanding by making the project more personal.

They split into groups to create their own 'territories' complete with model buildings, people and infrastructure. They displayed their creations and then imagined going on holiday to a land belonging to one of the other groups. While there, that country declared war on their own land, and so the groups destroyed the land they were visiting in retaliation. After a three-minute battle-phase, each group had to return to their own country, assess the damage and try to make repairs. Some were given extra resources to help but there was no obligation on them to share those with other groups.

Teacher Miss Martin said: 'The whole object was to be able to hold your construction up the way it was built originally and after that kind of destruction nobody can do it. We then debriefed the students. They all said it was really creative making their own country and great destroying somebody else's but then reality kicked in when they had to try and rebuild and re-establish their own. During the second part of the assessment they had to write an account, a diary, a letter or a story about what it was like to be in a war zone and how it felt when you were attacking someone else's country. The project tied up the whole discussion we'd had about conflict, resolution and rehabilitation.'

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