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The Learning Curve

Teaching the Holocaust
Robert Cooke

Dear Parents and students,

This week on Thursday 27th January was the International day for remembering the Holocaust. This is always a very emotional and sensitive topic to discuss with our students but vital for their education and historical perspective. The United Nations allocated this Day as a World day and provides amazing resources for both teachers and students to explore and examine.

This week in both Global Perspectives and Positive Education the students have had lessons and watched short videos on this incredible human tragedy that has caused the loss of more than six million jewish people. 

UNESCO pays tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to counter antisemitism, racism, and other forms of intolerance that may lead to group-targeted violence. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945. It was officially proclaimed, in November 2005, International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly.

The Holocaust profoundly affected countries in which Nazi crimes were perpetrated, with universal implications and consequences in many other parts of the world. Member States share a collective responsibility for addressing the residual trauma, maintaining effective remembrance policies, caring for historic sites, and promoting education, documentation and research, more than seven decades after the genocide. This responsibility entails educating about the causes, consequences and dynamics of such crimes so as to strengthen the resilience of young people against ideologies of hatred.
As genocide and atrocity crimes keep occurring across several regions, and as we are witnessing a global rise of antisemitism and hate speech, this has never been so relevant.

This subject is explored in our History lessons generally but specifically in A-level History where students read the Historiography of the Holocaust by Dan Snow. This looks at the developing interpretations and historical insights surrounding the Holocaust. We have also in the past taken A-level History students to Auschwitz to examine primary evidence of this Genocide. 

As parents and teachers it is important that we develop mature and sensitive perspectives of History that will eradicate hatred from our societies. The reading of the books, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Book Thief and Schindler’s List have all helped to illuminate and inform our students about such a tragic period in European Civilisation.

Be the light in the darkness

We will continue to do our bit for as long as we can, secure in the knowledge that others will continue to light a candle long after us.

- Gena Turgel MBE, survivor of the Holocaust (1923-2018)

Interesting articles


- Council of Europe

Robert Cooke
Head of Pastoral and Safeguarding 

  • Pastoral Care