29 January 2024
Every year at the High School, staff take great pride in facilitating a week of learning opportunities to enhance pupils’ understanding of the Holocaust. As a UCL Beacon School in Holocaust Education, they are committed to increasing expertise on the topic and believe it is a critically important part of young people’s learning. The week’s activities aimed to outline this year’s theme, ‘The Fragility of Freedom’, and highlight the importance of continued education and awareness of the Holocaust and its legacy.
Commencing the dedicated week with a Senior assembly, Teacher of Theology and Philosophy, Ms Eldridge spoke to students about Sophie Scholl and her involvement in the non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany; the White Rose. Acknowledging Sophie’s story as a powerful example of bravery, resistance and advocacy for freedom, Ms Eldridge encouraged the group to consider the fragility of freedom both throughout history and in the present day.
Departments across the school incorporated the theme into their lessons, with Year 8 geographers examining how conflict affects children’s human rights, and History students focusing on the rise of Hitler and the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany. Learning continued through cocurricular activities, with reading recommendations including ‘Diary of Anne Frank’, ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ by Judith Kerr, and Tom Palmer’s ‘After the War’. Tom Palmer worked extensively with the UCL Centre for Holocaust education when researching his novel, which focuses on the experiences of the Windemere children; a group of young Jewish refugees who were helped by psychologist, Dr. Oscar Friedman.
Northampton High School were delighted to welcome award-winning author, Tom Palmer, into school to conclude their week of commemorative events. Many of Palmer’s children’s books highlight themes of war and introduce younger readers to concepts and historic events that can often be challenging and complex to comprehend. During his visit to the local GDST school, Tom hosted
a Q&A session with Year 6 and Year 7, and read some excerpts from his new book which will be released later this year. Year 8 enjoyed an educational workshop led by both Tom and Helen McCord from UCL, who used the new resources that UCL have worked on with Tom based around his book.
Reflecting on the week’s activities, Ms Eldridge commented: ‘We are proud to be able to provide a week of cross curricular events for our students, as a UCL Beacon school for Holocaust education. As we reflect on this year’s theme, ‘The Fragility of Freedom’, we are encouraging our students to be mindful of how quickly these freedoms can be lost, and how important it is for them to act against injustice in all its forms’. The Northamptonshire school look forward to continuing Holocaust education for many years to come and supporting UCL Centre for Holocaust Education in their vital work.