Report by Mr Sam Gosden, Deputy Head of Lower School

On Monday 11 November, students and staff from both sites of KPS, Lower School and Sixth Form, came together to pay tribute to those people who fought and died in World War I, but also those affected by World War II and by other wars since 1945. 

In our assembly we have looked at the ways in which the Visual Arts captured the war experience. Like their countrymen, many artists joined up to fight in WWI out of a sense of patriotic duty. Since there was a large number of artists who experienced combat first hand, either as soldiers, medics, or war artists, they produced work based on their experiences. Art was seen as the means to bear witness to the experience of war, to remember the fallen and try to give form to such an extreme experience as industrial warfare.

Kensington Park School students across both sites have studied the work of war artists, photographers and film makers and presented the results of their research. Year 9 students presented the work of famous World War I artists, such as Paul and John Nash, Otto Dix, Anna Airy and Olive Mudie-Cooke. Year 7, 8 and 10 students have created original art work as response to letters from the front, WWI poems and photographs. Sixth Form students, along with a group of Year 9 students explained the importance of original footage from the front in creating the film The Battle of the Somme (1916) and the more recent film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). The students had the chance to reflect together on how the images which were created as a response to the front experience, continue to shape our interpretations of the First World War.