During the week commencing 21st January 2019, students and staff from Rockwood Academy took part in a range of classroom-based activities to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, which was on Sunday 27th January 2019.
Students led an exhibition focusing on key Holocaust survivors, including Mady Gerrard, who’s UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF) testimony was gifted to Rockwood Academy as part of the commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project Echo Eternal. All students from Year 7 to 11 were able to visit the exhibition which emphasised and explored each of the Holocaust survivors stories. 10 Year 7-10 students reenacted each survivors story to enable other students to empathise with the struggles each survivor faced. The exhibition was visited by local MP and Shadow Minister for Digital Liam Byrne, who commended the students for their engaging, inspiring and mature work.
Throughout the week, students from Year 7 to 11 took part in form-time activities which focused on learning about a range of genocides that have taken place around the world. The concept of Genocide was discussed, including exploring questions such as: “what role do we as individuals living in society have in stopping these genocides from reoccurring?”
On Friday 25th January, all students at Rockwood Academy wrote postcards to a chosen Holocaust survivor, expressing their emotions and feelings in reflection of that survivors story. Selected postcards were sent to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to be sent on to the survivors.
Holocaust Memorial Week was a real opportunity for students at Rockwood Academy to learn and empathise first hand the tragedies that the Holocaust and genocides have bought. It was a real SMSC opportunity to learn about personal loss, sacrifice and above all sheer human resilience to survive such atrocities that have taken place in the world we live in.