St Michael's awarded Holocaust Quality Mark
20 September 2019
We are delighted to report that St Michael’s has been awarded the prestigious Holocaust Quality Mark.
Presently only 13 schools in the UK have been awarded the Quality Mark by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, which is presented to recognise the valuable work schools are doing to enable young people to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the significance of the Holocaust.
Studying the Holocaust enables pupils to explore its relevance for their own lives and the contemporary world, hones their independent and critical thinking skills, encourages democratic citizenship and Fundamental British Values and equips pupils to see the role they play as ‘global citizens.’
It also provides an opportunity to develop students’ historical thinking about key concepts, such as diversity, causation, change and continuity, human rights, crimes against humanity, mass atrocity and genocide.
Pupils have the opportunity to ask serious questions about the context in which genocide can take place and helps them to develop a framework and the language to think, reflect and talk about complex issues like prejudice and stereotyping.
It gives pupils space to reflect on their values and ultimately their choices, ideally contributing to a more tolerant, respectful, peaceful world.
The school has been a Beacon School for Holocaust Education for a year. In addition to learning about different aspects of the Holocaust within the History curriculum, pupils study the impact in subjects including ICT, English, RE and Maths, proactively engaging with research, developing materials and disciplinary approaches that challenge misconceptions and encourage a respect for scholarship, fact and evidence.
Pupils at St Michael’s have the opportunity to take part in a biennial trip to Berlin and Poland, where they visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp and interview a survivor of the Holocaust. Following this, pupils share their experiences in collective worship and through poetry and reflective creative writing.
The UCL Centre for Holocaust Education’s report, comments on the ‘innovative best practice’ present at St Michael’s, stating how the school has ‘developed a clear rationale for their approach to Holocaust Education that is a blend of mission and research, informed pedagogy and content.’
The report commends the ‘strong, disciplinary distinctive approaches to Holocaust teaching and learning and states: ‘The Christian values of the school mean that character education is implicit and explicitly embedded in the curriculum and in the experience of being part of the St Michael’s community.
A summary of the full Quality Mark report can viewed by downloading the document below.