A Post-It note from the Programme Director: 6 November

Message from Ruth-Anne Lenga, the Centre’s Programme Director:

So here we are once again, in lockdown or rather ‘lockdown-lite’ as schools remain open and as before, continue to do an phenomenal job carrying out their duties and keeping a semblance of normality for students.

Even in better times, this side of the term is shadowed by the sense of oncoming winter: nights closing in by 5pm and that November chill beginning to bite. It all makes things feel that much more gloomy. Mercifully, the high street coffee shops are still operating for ‘take out’ so the ‘seasonal specials’ are out there for the taking if/when the going gets particularly tough.

Pride of Britain – Holocaust Survivor and Humanitarian, Sir Ben Hefgott.

Watching Sir Ben Helfgott presented with a Pride of Britain award on TV last Sunday night was a real boost to many, especially those involved in Holocaust education. How wonderful it was to watch this modest man receive the award in the presence of his children and grandchildren, none of whom who would have been born without Ben’s extraordinary strength and endurance that helped him survive the Holocaust. See the link here.

I went to visit 90-year old Ben and his wonderful wife Arza, at his home yesterday (Rest assured, he remained at a Covid- safe distance from me, talking to me through his glass porch). Ben told me that he was humbled to have received the award. However much I continue discussing the award and its filming, all he was interested in hearing about was you – the teachers who engage with us at UCL and the challenges you are facing right now. He was full of admiration for your commitment to teaching the Holocaust at this difficult time. He was also excited to hear about the Centre’s new textbook, its online teacher-guidance notes and the first run of the Centre’s new MOOC.

Join us on UCL’s new MOOC: Teaching the Holocaust: Innovative Approaches to the Challenges We Face

We are now in the second week of UCL’s MOOC. On Monday, (9 November – which coincides with the 82nd anniversary of beginning of Kristallnacht), the third and final week of the course begins. You can register and join in at any time in the next week or so and easily catch up – so do come on board while the course is still ‘live’. Over 2000 people have registered from all over the world including, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Panama, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Nigeria, Egypt Singapore, Italy, Bangladesh and USA.

Impact study Opportunity

Today we can offer you yet another opportunity – the chance for you and our researchers at the Centre to work in partnership to assess the impact of the Centre’s lessons on your students’ developing knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust. The project involves students anonymously completing a very short online survey. So, if you have taken part in any of the Centre’s CPD programmes – in person, or online and currently use the Centre’s lessons and resources in your Key Stage 3 teaching, this might be of interest to you. The research team will send you everything you need to run the survey and will also send you a free report of the findings for your school. To find out more contact Senior Research Associate Becky Hale: r.hale@ucl.ac.uk.

Stay well and have a good weekend.


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