St Paul's Collegiate and St Margaret's College win Battle of Passchendaele competition

Four students from St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton and one from St Margaret's College, Christchurch will be flying to Belgium to attend the 100th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of Passchendaele. The students were among the winners of a competition to design digital resources to teach younger students about this important event in New Zealand’s history. 

Education Minister Nikki Kaye and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced the winners. “All the students should be extremely proud of what they’ve produced,” says Ms Kaye. “The feedback from the judges was outstanding, with one reporting that the entries reduced him to tears with the students’ understanding of what they had learnt from Passchendaele.”

The winning entries came from St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, St Margaret’s College in Christchurch and Rotorua Girls’ High School. The students created websites encompassing a range of digital resources including an interactive map of the battlefield, social media profiles and provocative questions.

“This competition is a great example of how digital technologies can help inspire our students to learn about different areas of curriculum," says Ms Kaye. “What these students have produced gives us a glimpse of what they are capable of and gives me real confidence that young New Zealanders are well on track to be successful in this fast-evolving digital world.”

“It is important for us to learn from the past and through this opportunity the students will be able to share what they’ve learned with others,” says Ms Barry. "This competition has been an amazing opportunity for them to learn more about the Battle of Passchendaele and reflect on the sacrifices made by our ancestors.”

The competition was launched by the Ministry of Education in May, in partnership with the sponsors Fields of Remembrance Trust and the Passchendaele Society.

“Students were asked to think about ways to use digital technologies to connect historical events with our modern digital world to enrich student learning,” says Ms Kaye. “It was great to see students thinking creatively to find innovative ways to incorporate the various technologies now available to them, to tell the story of the Battle to fellow students and to a wider global audience. I look forward to seeing more of this way of working once the Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko is incorporated into The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa from 2018.”

The winners will travel to Belgium on 7 October 2017 to attend the National Commemoration Service at the Tyne Cot Cemetery near Zonnebeke in West Flanders. 


Further details of our winning entries:

St Margaret’s College, Christchurch

Alexandra Lay

The judges were impressed with the digital map that navigated users through this website. It provided a coordinated story of the Battle of Passchendaele with provocative questions, a brilliant German photo album and some great quotes providing a New Zealand context.


St Paul’s Collegiate, Hamilton

Dylan Woodhouse, Tony Wu, Lucy Tustin and Conor Horrigan

The students created a website called Blood and Mud which had interactive activities and strong links to the curriculum. The judges were impressed by the use of social media, community engagement and provocative questions. They applauded the website’s ability to address diversity, connect the past with present and encourage students in Years 7 to 10 to engage and do their own research.  It had the standout “wow factor”.


Thursday, July 27, 2017