Pause for Thought: VE Day Celebrations
Victory in Europe
by Claire Law (video recording by Rebecca Parkinson)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the events of VE Day and why they are important.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to have the means available to play the videos below. The first one is 2.52 minutes long and the second one, ‘VE Day in London – 1945’, which is also available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEavcsrMoMw, is 9.49 minutes long, but you only need to show up to 1.31 minutes.
- You will also need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (VE Day Celebrations) and the means to display them.
Time for reflection
Have a look at the PowerPoint slides.
- On Slide 1, we can see people dancing for joy in the streets.
- Slide 2 shows some young people celebrating by wading in the fountain at Trafalgar Square!
- On Slide 3, we can see a group of people giving the sign for victory.
- Slide 4 shows Winston Churchill, the UK prime minister, waving to a huge crowd. Earlier that day, he had announced on the radio that the war in Europe was over.
- Slide 5 shows King George VI and his family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The family includes Princess Elizabeth (our current queen) on the far left and Princess Margaret, her sister, on the far right. Over the course of VE Day, they appeared on the balcony six times to greet everybody.
- On Slide 6, we can see two small girls waving their flags in the rubble of a bombed-out building. For those who had lost loved ones in the conflict, it was a time to reflect. Before they celebrated, many went to churches and cathedrals to spend some time in prayer and remember relatives who had been killed in the war.
You may wish to use the following prayer.
Thank you for all those who fought to bring peace during the Second World War.
Thank you that peace eventually came.
Please be with all those who are living in areas of the world that are affected by wars today.
Please help us to do our bit in creating peace wherever we are.
‘The prayer of St Francis (Make me a channel of your peace)’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihhvm6eLWZI (2.51 minutes long)
‘(There’ll be bluebirds over) The white cliffs of Dover’ by Vera Lynn, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovfQjR3iU-A (3.19 minutes long)
‘We’ll meet again’ by Vera Lynn, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsM_VmN6ytk (3.04 minutes long)
- You may like to make your own bunting to decorate your home on this special day. Instructions are available at: https://tinyurl.com/yao6ehpt
- There are some great ideas for other activities at: https://www.thebritishschool.co.uk/ve-day-activities/
- The BBC has announced dedicated programming to mark VE Day. On BBC One, there will be a two-minute silence at 11 a.m., Winston Churchill’s VE Day speech at 3 p.m. and an evening event that includes a speech by the Queen at 9 p.m.
- If you would like to find out more about VE Day, have a look at the following website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ve-day-teaching-resources/znvy382/