April marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentrations camps including Bergen-Belsen (15th), Buchenwald (11th) Dachau ( 23rd) and many of you, perhaps with this in mind, downloaded our newly created, student home-study lessons prepared especially for your teaching needs during this pandemic crisis and lock-down. The lessons, designed for students to conduct at home explore the harsh realities of the concentration camps through deeply probing questions. We were delighted that your feedback to these lessons and those on Heroic Actions of the Holocaust were positive. It was great to see the number of ‘likes’ received via Twitter and examples of students’ work. Keep that coming! OCR Exam Board shared the link for these new materials and so we hope those of you working under the colossal pressure of preparing students for exams during this challenging period, will access them and also find them helpful.
The short, condensed lessons on the Holocaust respond to feedback we received from teachers following an instant ‘call out’ to our network regarding what would help teachers most at this time, by way of support from UCL. Simply constructed short lessons that students work on independently at home (or semi-independently) was suggested together with any online CPD provision to maintain teachers ‘professional development. We therefore set about producing a number of such lessons with student friendly presentations, glossaries, step by step guides for working through materials and a list of trusted sites for further learning. We have also produced ready-made lesson kits/lesson plans for teachers to use with their students via online platforms as well as other online offers.
It is truly commendable that you continue to teach this deeply challenging subject to your students while we are living under the threat of Covid-19 and the difficulties to normal life that has arisen as a result. You may be thinking through how the nature of the Holocaust and its potential to emotionally affect students might be mitigated when teaching at a distance or via home learning. In the weeks to come we will be offering you some guidance to support you on this particular challenge. This week we are providing you with:
An Online CPD course: 6 things your students should know about the Holocaust
This is a 50 minute online CPD course that will enable you to keep up to speed with the latest research in Holocaust education. In a straightforward way the course highlights the important knowledge that young people often get confused about and sets the historical record straight while offering you lessons ideas that can help you challenge any pre-existing misconceptions.
Three Short Self- directed study lessons from a series of SIX lessons (connected to but independent of the CPD of the same name) entitled: 6 things your students should know about the Holocaust. Here we offer you 3 out of a series of six 20-minute self-study lessons for KS3 students based on common misunderstandings students have about the Holocaust including the falsity that Hitler was solely responsible for the Holocaust.
Being German and Jewish: living in hope in uncertain times
This is a series of five 30-minute lessons designed for teaching via an online platform. The accessible lessons provide a fascinating insight into pre-war Jewish life in Germany through the case study of one city and its synagogue and community centre – a modern building which was shared by the local non-Jewish German community and the local German Jewish community. This continued until Nazism took hold and the violent pogrom of 9th November 1938 which destroyed the synagogue, its community, and its future.
Jewish Life in Warsaw before the Holocaust
This is a 1-hour, 40-minute lesson or two 40-minute lessons suitable for students in Year 9 and above. It has been designed for student-directed home study or for teacher-directed home study. There is guidance to support either approach. It explores Jewish life in Poland’s Warsaw before the Second World War and students emerge better able to appreciate what was lost as a result of the Holocaust. The lesson starts with an action photograph of a Warsaw Jewish football team (combining Polish Christian and Polish Jewish local players) and once familiar with the context and the individual players takes students through to discover the tragedy that eventually befalls the Jews of Warsaw.
Finally I’d like to welcome our new cohort of teachers onto our MA module The Holocaust in the Curriculum which starts this week. Over 50 teachers are currently getting themselves logged on to Moodle ready to start Unit 1 on Monday.
We are also working to tailor a number of CPD courses for online access via the UCL eXtend platform. You can access these via the following link: