Adaptation Series - WAT - Daisies on the Cross

Gertie from Whitworks Adventures in Theatre

Prior to lockdown Gertie Whitfield from Whitworks Adventures in Theatre (WAT) was delivering a Drama workshop in primary and secondary schools across the region. The project had been commissioned by the University of Nottingham as part of their World War One Hidden Histories work

“Daisies on the Cross”, a play by Paul Whitfield, tells the true story of three young women from Shirebrook in Derbyshire who lost their lives working in a top-secret munitions factory during World War One. Their story had been forgotten and their graves left unmarked, unlike the young men who had lost their lives fighting in World War One. 

During 1919, commissioned by the University of Nottingham, WAT had researched and uncovered this history inspiring the play. WAT then supported the Year 6's at Brookfield Primary School to stage a community performance. The performance led to the local council and descendants getting together to mark the graves of Dorothy Prince Brown, Elsie May Garrett and Ethel Gorrill. 

After a Zoom meeting with colleagues at Create Sheffield on July 29th, Gertie realised that the remaining funding would be better used to create primary and secondary recovery curriculum resources. Fortunately, colleagues at the University of Nottingham agreed.

The play explores remembrance, trauma and resilience in a positive way. It examines how its characters come to terms with surviving loss. The resource also introduces the experience of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 /19. The resource is uniquely placed to enable children and young people to explore their recent experiences safely through the distance of history.

Written for the Covid 19 classroom, the activities also help students to relearn school routines and disciplines. As guidance changes and every school context is different, adaptation may be appropriate.

Students will have opportunities to debate, write, have fun and engage with an original play.

The resource explores the history of gender inequalities and the practical implications of this are demonstrated in the play.

WAT has published the Primary resource as a cross curricular piece of work for English, Relationships, Sex and Health Education and History.

See links below for access to Daisies on the Cross - New FREE Recovery Curriculum Resource for Upper KS2 and Year 7.

Click this link to download the Primary Upper KS2 English /RSHE/History resource. 

WAT has published the Secondary resource for the subjects of Drama or Relationships, Sex and Health Education.

Click this link to download the Secondary Year7 RSHE/Drama resource.