On Wednesday 12th June 2013, Miss Vickers & Mr Purslow had the privilege of visiting the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp near to Krakow in Poland; the site is synonymous with the many atrocities which took place there under Nazi persecution of multiple ethnic groups, of which the Jews were the main target of an attempted genocide during the second world war.
The visit is organised annually for teachers to ‘experience’ the history of the site and to attempt an understanding of what took place there so that lessons can be taken away as to why it is so crucial that we teach our young children the spirit of acceptance, celebration not rejection of diversity and an understanding of those who may be different to you. Miss Vickers led the organisation of this visit as the school’s Citizenship coordinator, and liaised with the Holocaust Educational Trust to successfully secure two places for Whitley Academy staff to attend this emotional and humbling day.
Mr Purslow & Miss Vickers will be leading on Holocaust awareness in the school through a variety of schemes; some of which are detailed here:
- A programme of study focused on Holocaust awareness for Year 9
- Assemblies for whole school
- Whole school participation and acknowledgement of Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January annually
Whilst the terrible events of these concentration camps cannot be changed, what can be affected is the way in which we move forward and develop as human beings; as the Rabbi who led a memorial service on Wednesday stated ‘To hate someone who is different to you is to hate yourself’; inscribed on one of the exhibits in the museum were the words ‘The one who does not remember History is bound to live through it again’.
If any parent would like further information regarding this visit or the Academy’s commitment to the development of the Spiritual and Moral education of our students, please do not hesitate to contact either Miss Vickers as the main link for Citizenship or Mr Purslow, Head of Languages and International Studies.
Holocaust Educational Trust - http://www.het.org.uk/
Holocaust Memorial Day - http://www.hmd.org.uk/
Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum - http://en.auschwitz.org/m/