Local Teacher to Visit Former Nazi Death Camp to Develop Inspirational Ways to Teach About the Holocaust

Local Teacher to Visit Former Nazi Death Camp to Develop Inspirational Ways to Teach About the Holocaust

A local History teacher is to visit sites of the Nazi genocide in Poland as part of a select group chosen to pioneer the way the Holocaust is taught in England’s secondary schools.

Charlotte Lane, from Torpoint Community College, Cornwall, will join a dozen other teachers from around England and experts from University College London (UCL Centre for Holocaust Education) on a powerful study visit that will help shape classroom practice.

They will visit the remains of the former death camp of Treblinka, where some 850,000 people were murdered in just 16 months; the small town of Jadow, whose Jewish community was utterly devastated by the Holocaust; and, in Warsaw, they will seek out the traces of what was once the largest Jewish community in Europe.

The 12 teachers are from schools chosen earlier this year by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education to develop sensitive and innovative ways to help young people explore the traumatic history of the Holocaust.

As a UCL Beacon School, Torpoint Community College will support a network of at least five further local schools, sharing the UCL’s innovative approaches to enhance the way they teach and learn about the Holocaust.

Charlotte Lane says, “Being a UCL Beacon School is a fantastic opportunity.  I know I will be inspired by the study visit.  I hope to use my experience to inspire our students and motivate them to learn about one of the most difficult and challenging periods of History”.

The teachers will visit Poland during May for four days.

UCL is part of the University of London, and is Britain’s leading centre for educational research and teacher training. Its Centre for Holocaust Education, which leads the Beacon School programme, was established in 2008 with the aim of: “working with teachers to transform Holocaust education”.

Combining extensive research into classroom needs with a programme specifically designed to meet these challenges, UCL is uniquely responsive to the issues that teachers and pupils face in studying this complex and emotionally-charged subject.

The Director of the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, Professor Stuart Foster, says:

“The Holocaust is explicable – as a human event with human causes it is open to study and understanding, even though its scale, complexity and the emotional demands it places upon both teacher and learner can feel overwhelming.

“And the value in studying the Holocaust is enormous as it reveals the full spectrum of what human beings are capable – from the worst forms of hatred and cruelty to the most inspiring stories of courage and the resilience of the human spirit.”

The Beacon School teachers, who also attended a four-day seminar in London in October, are given continuing support by UCL to help develop effective ways of teaching about the Holocaust in a wider context.

UCL says that they should develop ways to: “reinforce the importance of certain key themes that are often neglected from Holocaust curricula, pre-war life of the communities that were destroyed; how the victims responded to the unfolding genocide; and the legacy and significance of the Holocaust.”

Anthony Smith, Assistant Head Teacher at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls School in Southwark, London who attended an earlier Beacon School programme says:

“In recent years, pupils have been less and less willing to engage with the Holocaust, but now we are turning this around. The programme gave me a new way of approaching the topic. Our ‘scheme of work’ was re-written based around UCL’s resources, for the first time looking at pre-war Jewish life and the legacy of the Holocaust. This new approach has had a very powerful impact with our children.”


Please contact: Andrea Hazeldine, Headteacher, enquiries@torpoint.cornwall.sch.uk

For information about Torpoint Community College as a UCL Beacon School for Holocaust Education please visit our Twitter feed @TCC_BeaconHolo or http://www.holocausteducation.org.uk/news/2017/torpoint-community-college-closeup-beacon-school/

For information on the Centre for Holocaust Education at UCL Institute of Education please contact: Louise Palmer l.palmer@ucl.ac.uk 020 7911 5310