Holocaust Memorial Day @ Beacon Schools 2017

At Hampton School, Lead teacher Andy Lawrence helped devise a wide-ranging programme inspired by the theme ‘how can life go on?’. This included films, survivor talks and an art project, all of which were shaped by their participation in the UCL Beacon School programme:


‘Boys from our Genocide80Twenty group were lucky enough to witness the London Assembly’s Holocaust Memorial Day event in City Hall. Hearing testimony from Mala Tribich and Sokphal Din was hugely powerful for the students and talking to other survivors, politicians like our MP Dr Tania Mathias and community leaders afterwards allowed the students to discuss and think about the significance of the occasion. Similarly, another group of students from our school visited the JW3 Jewish Community Centre to watch ‘Denial’. The Q&A afterwards, which featured Deborah Lipstadt, allowed the group to consider the nature of Holocaust denial and the impact that it has had.

Later in the week hundreds of students at our school spent a lesson studying the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The session contains the reading of personal testimonies and case studies, including that of Leon Greenman, that allow the students to investigate the past and create their own reflections upon it.

 As well as these sessions we unveiled a piece of art that was created a part of a collaboration between students from Hampton and other schools. The process began at our Genocide Awareness Day back in October where more than one hundred and fifty students from twenty different schools came together to hear the testimony of four genocide survivors and then reflect upon them in workshops. The young people were able to reflect on the testimony that they had heard, interpret it in their own way and work together to build their own piece that answered the Holocaust Memorial Day theme of ‘How Can Life Go On?’

 Find out more on Twitter: @genocide8020 @HamptonSchool  @historyhampton

Staff & students commemorate HMD at Hampton School


At  Tapton School (@TaptonSchool1), Lead Teacher Ben Fuller and students are marking Holocaust Memorial Day this year with a form discussion activity centred on this year’s HMD theme:

The discussion took place during one fifteen minute Form Time during the week of HMD and was teacher facilitated. It was designed to encourage and challenge students to think about and discuss issues around life after genocide. Following a brief introduction to what the Holocaust was and how we define genocide, students were invited to ask questions after considering a range of quotes given by survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. The quotes linked to issues such as trauma, displacement, forgiveness, and dealing with hate today.

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Bishop Challoner School is the first in our Beacon School programme to achieve Quality Mark status.

Lead teacher Jaya Carrier is responsible for co-ordinating the school’s approach to Holocaust Memorial Day:

‘This year we marked HMD in two ways. Firstly, an assembly led by 6 Year 13 students (who are Holocaust Ambassadors and our UCL Beacon School Quality Mark champions) was delivered to all year groups across the school. We represented the theme of 2017’s memorial day – How can life go on? – by reflecting on Leon Greenman’s story, and in particular his postwar life, using the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s Legacy materials.

Secondly, we  took 20 students from Year 9 to a cinema event at RichMix in Shoreditch, where they were shown a screening of ‘Paper Clips’ – a documentary about school children in America who in their studies of the Holocaust try to collect six million paper clips to help make sense of the enormous number of Jewish people killed by the Nazis. The screening was followed by a discussion led Kay Andrews (of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum). These students were then asked to share with their peers what they had learnt and understood.’

Discover more about Bishop Challoner’s focus on the Holocaust

Read more on Twitter: @ChallonerCFS

Holocaust Students’ display on HMD at Bishop Challoner School


Broadgreen International School (@BGreenIntSchool) worked with us as part of the first Beacon School cohort in 2012.

Commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day is an important focus for Beacon Schools’ students in their learning about the Holocaust. Lead Teacher, Leanne Judson describes what the day means at Broadgreen: 

‘Being an International school with a diverse community, our foundations of tolerance and respect are key to our identity and our role as a Beacon School.  Holocaust Memorial Day is important to us as it reflects our local community, and also focuses on inclusion, which is at the heart of our school.  There have been Anti-Semitic actions recorded recently in Liverpool, for example swastikas were found carved onto door of Jewish prayer house in Liverpool’s Jewish cemetery, less than a mile away from the school, highlighting the ongoing need for students to be aware of the impact of such actions and how Anti-Semitism still exists.   

Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 at Broadgreen International School was marked in a number of ways.  During form time, thoughts for the day relating to HMD were shared. These brought up a range of discussion points including the individual stories of victims and also re-humanising perpetrators.  In addition, assemblies ran all week, led by two sixth formers who visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in November, sharing their thoughts, feelings and reflecting on the impact of their visit.  On Holocaust Memorial Day itself, pupils in year 10 and 11 participated in a webcast by Mala Tribich, to bear witness to a survivor’s story and the legacy of the Holocaust on individuals’ lives.’

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At Royal Wootton Bassett Academy (@RWBAcademy, ) students interviewed headteacher George Croxford about Holocaust education, genocide prevention and why RWBA would mark this memorial across January 2017.


At RWBA, Holocaust studies is an intrinsic element of school life, figuring within students’ Personal Development programmes. HMD itself was explored through exploring survivor case studies and developing an art display. Read on for the interview with RWBA Headteacher George Croxford.

Students’ responses to HMD at RWBA


For CSS (Children’s Support Services) South Quadrant (@css_essex @CSS_Primary) Lead teacher Tony Cole explains how HMD concluded a week-long Holocaust Memorial Week across all its Essex-based centres:

‘Embedded in our pedagogy, is the principle that for learners to understand what was lost, they must understand what was there in the first place. Our approach provides learners with an understanding of pre- and post-Third Reich Jewish life and culture.

This year’s theme being ‘How can life go on?’ gave us the opportunity to explore these principles more fully. We developed our work around two key approaches:

  1. Inspired by Ilex Beller’s ‘Life in the Shtetl’, our theme focused on communities lost to the Holocaust. Every room across all three centres adopted one of these lost shtetlach. Learners were introduced to each shtetl. They learnt of the shtetl as it was, what happened to it during the Holocaust and how it looks to day. This highlighted that life does go on for a community as well as an individual or family. Indeed, that the fate of an individual is often linked to the fate of their community.

 2. Learners celebrated the achievements of survivors of the Holocaust first, second and third generation). For example, born in 1949, Billy Joel is the son of a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany to the USA, via Switzerland and Cuba in 1938. His music is the legacy of survivors of the Holocaust. Each curriculum area highlights a survivor relevant to their discipline e.g. the work of Konrad Emil Bloch is being celebrated in Science.

Over 80% CSS staff have completed the core UCL training the impact of which can be clearly evidenced in the pedagogy and outcomes for learners participating in the weeks activities.

Our cross curricular Holocaust education week engaged with our entire learning community. The UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s pedagogy and approach are key to its success. Our learners experience real history about real people and real communities. Most importantly, this reality helps learners to contextualise and understand so many of the key issues they face in the world today.’

CSS South Quadrant

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