‘To all colleagues from @UCL_Holocaust who are part of #BeaconSchool1819 – have THE most enriching experience on your upcoming visit to Warsaw. It was such an incredible experience. You will visit so many diverse sites. Wish I could do it again!’
Sara Costa, Enfield County School
Every year, the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s prestigious Beacon School programme works intensively with a number of secondary schools committed to enhancing teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Part of that programme sees each school’s ‘Lead teacher’ attend an expenses-paid residential CPD programme in central London in the autumn term and an expenses-paid study visit to Poland in the spring.
“We are looking forward to leading our annual teacher study visit to Poland from 10-13 May. The tour will involve excursions to sites in Warsaw to discover fragments of the past that speak to a once thriving Jewish community before the Nazi occupation. As teachers walk through the former ghetto stopping at points of significance and remembrance they will engage in creative tasks that bring about a powerful encounter with the past.
The 4 day tour will also include visits to a former Jewish shtetl and the death camp of Treblinka. It will examine the resurgence of Jewish life in Poland today through a special workshop and a visit the Nożyk Synagogue on the eve of the Sabbath and throughout we will consider site based pedagogy and reflect upon the significance of these spaces and shared learning for our classrooms.
The teachers on this year’s programme are exceptional and come from a variety of schools across the country some of which located in the hardest areas of disadvantage. Their schools join over 120 other schools of the Beacon School alumni that are committed to strengthening the quality of Holocaust education they provide through UCL’s world leading programme.
The staff and supporters of UCL Centre for Holocaust Education wish the teachers well on this trip that will undoubtedly be both enlightening and deeply moving.” Ruth-Anne Lenga, Programme Director
It was this year’s visit to Warsaw and its environs that led alumni Sara Costa to reflect upon her experience and to tweet a good luck message to this year’s cohort – wishing she could do it again!
Sara was not alone, we soon had a number of our Beacon School alumnus tweeting messages of encouragement, reflecting upon what the Poland visit meant to them and how it impacted them personally and professionally. So, as the 2018-19 cohort of Beacon School Lead Teachers prepare for their study visit we responded by asking some of our alumni – without giving too much away – to blog about their experiences:
As teachers returned from the visit, they sent us their reflections on the experience, read more here