What does the document look like as an object? Encourage the pupils not to read the document, but just look at the way it appears on the page e.g. type-written, set out like a list of some sort with numbers and bullet points, sub-headings/important information underlined, comes from a document with more than one page (page 2 at the header of the document). Do any of these things reveal anything about the type of document this is? E.g. it’s official because it has been type-written and might have been copied so lots of people could read it? Separate paragraphs of information might suggest some type of instructions?
Listen to the audio of the document:
Suggested follow-up questions
What is it advising people about? Who might need to learn about this and what sort of job might they do?
Draw the pupils’ attention to the title about ‘disguise’ and the golden rule about never ‘coming out of character’. What does this mean?
Explain that these are instructions given to people who joined the SOE, just like Noor Khan did in 1942. Ask the pupils if they have a clearer idea now about what the SOE was and what their recruits did?
Now the pupils have looked at the document and the film, they should hopefully have a good understanding that the SOE was a spy network – the Special Operations Executive – used by the British government during the Second World War. Members of the SOE were recruited to find out information from the enemy, and to sabotage enemy plans and preparations. Their training and disguise was incredibly important in order to enable them to infiltrate enemy circles, and go undetected!
You could talk to the pupils further about the equipment that spies needed and use document 2 in this section as an example.
Now listen to the audio of the document:
What was the key used for? Why would this have been a handy tool for a spy? A micro-print contains sections of printed text that need to be magnified in order to read.
Using the disguises document and box full of different props, encourage the children to create their own disguises and short back-stories about their characters. They could even record short pieces to camera about their cover stories before they enter enemy territory as a spy!
The pupils could make their own spy disguises and even create their own spy codename.
Pupils could make their own micro-print using IT and then design an object to hide their message inside e.g. a pen, a key-ring etc.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill set up the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1940. SOE’s role was to go into Nazi-occupied countries to spread propaganda, collect important information and to attack/sabotage important targets, actions that would support Britain and the Allies’ role in the war.