Virtual Workshop: 1940s Life on the Home Front

Meet Susan, a St Albans housewife during the Second World War. The war upended everything in her family’s lives – her son now serves in the military, her husband patrols as an ARP warden, her daughter joined the Women’s Land Army, and an 11-year-old evacuee now lives with them. Susan discusses the many ways life changed, including coping with rationing. But there goes the air raid siren – time to take cover!

The topics covered during the workshop include:

  • How the war started and why
  • Impacts on the home front such as food and clothing rationing
  • Ways that ordinary people supported the war effort
  • The evacuation of children from the cities (Operation Pied Piper)
  • The effects of air raids



How Does the Workshop Work?

The new workshops consist of two key elements:

  • Individual activities kits for each child in your group .
  • A pre-recorded video made by our knowledgeable teachers.

The workshops can take place in your own room at your own pace – we give you access to the video for several days, so you can rewind, replay, or break up the activities as you see fit.

Most schools find that the workshops fill half a day, although you can spread them out as you see fit.

For a small additional fee, you can add an optional hour of “live” teaching time with one of our qualified teachers. This extra time, which takes place via video conferencing software, offers extra engagement to the day and allows the children to probe further into the learning.


What Activities are Included?

The items include a cipher wheel, a toy plane made with a clothes pin, a dip pen and National ID card, a paper gas mask box with string, a foil ARP badge and a yarn bobble.
Objects the children make during the 1940s virtual workshop

As mentioned, each child will receive an activities kit to match the video. There are a few basic supplies such as PVA glue, scissors, and pencils that the school will need to provide, but otherwise the children will receive the necessary materials to make six projects:

  • A dip pen (to fill out their National ID card)
  • A cipher wheel
  • An ARP badge
  • A toy plane
  • A yarn bobble
  • A gas mask box

The workshop will also come with an information sheet for teachers, which will detail the learning outcomes, extra supplies that might be needed and possible follow-up learning.


How Much Does a Virtual Workshop Cost?

Please visit our pricing page for the latest costings.


How Do I Book a Workshop?

Please feel free to contact us by form, e-mail or telephone. Let us know the week you would like to use the workshop, and whether you would like the optional live teaching time, and we are happy to help.

Since the virtual workshops do not depend on our diary, you may order them at anytime. (But do allow enough time for delivery!)


Do You Offer an In-School Version of the Workshop?

Yes! Our in-school workshop allows children to experience life as an evacuee during Operation Pied Piper. You can learn more about it on our Homefront ’40 page.

Please be aware, however, that we operate in a limited travel area, and mileage (and possibly B&B charges) will apply. If your school is far from our offices, and/or your group is very small, a virtual workshop may be a better fit for you.

Feel free to contact us with questions and we are happy to look at options with you.