Lesson 5: Inspiration from the 16th Battalion


In this lesson, students will build on what they learnt about the Victoria Cross recipients in Lesson 4 and decide how the values displayed by the men of the 16th Battalion can be applied to their own lives, particularly in a school environment.

Broad learning outcomes

  • Students will identify and discuss the values displayed by the members of the 16th Battalion.
  • Students will consider how the values displayed by the members of the 16th Battalion can be applied to their own lives.


You will need:

  • ‘Medals and awards’ information sheet
  • a list of the school values (optional)
  • ‘Values certificate’.

Lesson steps

Begin with a class discussion about the events that led to three soldiers being awarded the Victoria Cross medals. This will be a recap of the information gathered and presented in Lesson 4. As a class, make a list of the values (e.g. courage, bravery, heroism, gallantry, perserverance, valour, mateship, determination, selflessness) that these soldiers demonstrated during the events.

Discuss the other medals awarded to members of the 16th Battalion (you may have talked about these briefly in Lesson 4). Provide students with a copy of the ‘Medals and awards’ information sheet, ask them to read the criteria for each of the medals and highlight any unfamiliar words. Discuss these.

In small groups, students to work together to identify the values that need to be demonstrated in order to be recommended for one of the medals on the sheet. Revisit the list that was started at the beginning of the lesson and add any new values. This list could be linked or compared to the school values.

Explain to the students that the values demonstrated by the members of the 16th Battalion can also be applied in life today. Have students brainstorm some examples of when they have lived these values, or they have witnessed someone else demonstrate them. Make a list of examples.

Groups to select one of the values and role play some school-specific examples of how it could be demonstrated.

You may wish to use the ‘Values certificate’ to acknowledge students who demonstrate the discussed values. This could be a classroom award or a broader school award presented at assemblies. You could also design your own certificate.

On completion of this unit of work, you may like your students to reflect on their learning by playing the 'centenary education board game'.