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The Children and Families of Far Eastern Prisoners of War invite your students to take part in this exciting new initiative!

COFEPOW is a registered charity (reg. no., 1074474) dedicated to perpetuating the memory of Far-East Prisoners of War and advancing knowledge of the suffering endured and sacrifices made by them during their years of captivity in World War II.

As a charity, one of our functions is to educate future generations to make sure that we never forget what our brave ancestors went through. Sometimes, children may see this as a little boring, so we have worked hard to develop a stimulating learning activity that will help them to understand what happened in the Far-East during WWII, whilst giving them the opportunity to develop vital transferable skills for their future.

In order to help nurture the workforce of the future, it is important that students of all ages are given a wide variety of experience and different learning platforms so that they have chance to develop the transferable skills required to be good employees or entrepreneurs.

Skills such as confidence, teamwork, creativity, diplomacy, working to deadlines, communication, presentation and leadership are valuable life skills - enterprise activities such as this competition are designed to give students the environment in which to develop these skills.

It is never too early to start developing them!

School Rules: how to enter the competition

Beginning in 2017, this is an annual competition for primary schools to enter. It runs from 11th November 2017 until the 15th February 2018 and then annually (these dates mark Remembrance Day and the Fall of Singapore).

Back Story

“The year is 1945, it’s summertime and you are working in a British television station news room. You have just had breaking news that the Japanese have surrendered and World War II is finally over! Imagine how happy everyone is! Shouting, crying, hugging – all of the Allied prisoners of war will be coming home and no more lives will be lost in WWII!”

Rules & guidance for students:

Notes for teachers

Rules & guidance for students:

Notes for teachers

Working in teams of 6 or 8 students, your task is to prepare a television news report saying the war is over in the Far-East and that all those held as prisoners will now be released and sent home.


In order to prepare your news report you must find out as much as you can about the life of a Far-East Prisoner of War (FEPOW).
You might like to:
- Research the timeline of events leading up to their capture
- What was happening where in the world/the Pacific/Europe
- Research what it would have been like in a prison camp
- Their living conditions
- Their health and wellbeing – physically and mentally
This will give you lots of information to set the scene for your audience and can be an introduction for your special report


Be creative! Think about a news report and what it contains, watch some examples and think about how you can make yours interesting and informative:
- Perhaps one of your team can play a FEPOW for your report and be interviewed live as they arrive back home in the UK.
- What would this scene look like?
- What would your FEPOW provide for your news report, and would they have drawings of things they’ve seen?
- You might like to create pictures for your news report to set the scene for your audience and give them as much information as possible.


How will you explain to the FEPOW what has happened in the rest of the world (including the UK) while they were in being held prisoner. What is life like at home?


Who is going to do what in your team?
- Teams’ roles: producer (team leader), reporters, researchers, script writers, artists, presenters, actors.
Think about your skills and who’s going to do what to make sure your team functions  well.


Your news report needs to last no longer than 5 minutes and you need to include:
- Your name for your news programme
- An overview of all of the key events leading up to the release of the FEPOW
- Information that you would give the FEPOW to help them understand what has happened in the rest of the world during their time in Prison Camp.
- Artists’ impressions (drawings) of what the camp and conditions would have been like
- Make sure you get lots of feeling and emotion into your report to hold your viewer’s interest
- Don’t forget your report needs a good beginning, middle and end- Use phrases like: ‘Meanwhile, in Europe/America/Japan…’ or ‘We can report that…’


You will need film your reports, clearly stating your school name and your news programme name at the start of the film. Then they will need to be uploaded onto a DVD and sent to COFEPOW.


Once you have filmed your news report please send it to COFEPOW by 15th February. COFEPOW who will judge them on content, presentation and empathy and choose a winner. The winning team will receive a special COFEPOW VJ Day 70th Anniversary Commemorative Medal for their school!

Notes for teachers:

Notes for teachers:


Please ensure that entries are clearly labelled with the name of your school and the names of each team. Please send your students’ entries on a DVD and submit the Entry Form below.
Jayne Greene, COFEPOW Primary Competition, 71 Kidderminster Road, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 1DG to arrive no later than 15th February 2018.


We reserve the right to broadcast the work the students have produced on screens to the public at the FEPOW building at The National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.


A blank Certificate of Achievement will be emailed to the school once the competition entry has been received. Please feel free to copy these and present them to the students that have taken part in the competition. Judging will be carried out by a panel of unbiased COFEPOW members, who will be asked to declare an interest in any entries before judging takes place. The judges will be looking for the following when choosing the winning entry:
- The most creative
- The best factual content
- Good presentation skills
- The ability to hold the attention of the viewer
- Passion and enthusiasm- Empathy with the situation


The winners and runners-up will be announced after the Easter Holidays and will be notified by email. If you have any queries, please email Jayne Greene at Thank you for taking part in this year’s competition!

COFEPOW Primary School Competition Online Entry Form

Once you have submitted your online entry form, please make sure to send your DVD to the following address:
Jayne Greene, COFEPOW Primary Competition, 71 Kidderminster Road, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 1DG (arrive no later than 15th February).

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Paper Submissions & Information Docs

If you like to fill out a paper form and have a paper copy of the competition rules and information, please download the PDFs below.