Never Such Innocence is dedicated to educating young people about the First World War, its impact and legacy, through poetry, art and theatre. Our education programme seeks to reach as many schoolchildren across the British Isles as possible and aims to ensure our young people feel informed, included and inspired by the centenary activity taking place nationally over the next four years. 

A key focus for Never Such Innocence is the Commonwealth and we are keen to emphasise that the Great War was indeed a World War. Therefore, we want to encourage young people to embrace and engage with their shared history and heritage and understand the sacrifices made so that we could live together today.

There are three main elements to the educational programme:

  • An annual poetry and art competition for schools: full details can be found here 
  • The distribution of the Never Such Innocence play script to schools across the country to perform; full details can be found here 
  • A travelling, interactive workshop to supplement the script and help engage young people with the material: subject to funding 

Never Such Innocence is pleased to have launched its first national poetry and art competition alongside the official opening of Marylebone Boys’ School in September 2014. The competition will run annually for primary and secondary schools until 2018.

We have produced a resource pack to stimulate responses to the competition, available here as a free download. The resource explores the different stages of the First World War and aims to provide young people with an objective and insightful account of the events that unfolded between 1914 and 1919, and to highlight the poetic and artistic legacy that stemmed from the War. The resource has been designed so pupils can select the topics that interest them most and will be updated every year to include new content. 

We have partnered with the Battlefield Tours Programme , Cavell Nurses' TrustGlen Art , JCG Foundation , Mosaic and The Curzon Institute to promote the Never Such Innocence poetry and art competition across the British Isles.


Rebecca chosen for Passchendaele role
'It was unprecedented' Battle of Passchendaele remembered
Young Poet Rewarded with invitation to Passchendaele
Youngsters invited to get creative in helping to commemorate 100 years since the First World War
Poetry success for Orkney school pupil
Children to commemorate WW1 onboard ship
'Salonika Remembers' - schools invited to explore CWGC sites in Greece
Brighton student wins international art competition
Rule Britannia with Mappin & Webb's military watches
Island youngsters collect awards at House of Lords
Butt to Barra District News
Broxburn Academy artist celebrating after impressing judges during national competition
Lewis and Harris pupils at House of Lords to receive awards
Around Orkney
St Patrick’s pupil wins poetry award
Josh’s poem about First World War sacrifice makes top five in UK
West Lothian schoolgirl takes top poetry award
Teenager from Overseal chosen to win arts award at House of Lords
Never Such Innocence - Commemorating the Men and Women of the Great War
Aileag: Never Such Innocence
Never forget: Glasgow youngsters remember the First World War
Lest we forget: War charity launches schools competition
Children remember soldiers with poetry
Manx children remember the First World War
Take pride in Great War sacrifice
John Madejski Academy to host launch of nationwide First World War art and poetry competition
Royals attend Never Such Innocence poetry launch
How a new generation remembers - interview with Lady Lucy French, granddaughter of WWI General Sir John French
Charity initiative brings First World War into classroom
Today’s teenage war poets make me proud
Transatlantic Ties to the Special Relationship
Students impress in WWI art contest
Teen poet and University College School student Sam Kaplin wins prestigious national poetry competition
Charity of the week
BBC R4 The World Tonight
The Stage
NSI - House Magazine
A sense of theatre…
Centenary News
How Britain will mark Great War centenary
Town mouse visits Australia House

Contact Us

Contact Us

Registered Charity Number 1156148 - Company Number 8680319