Stratton Upper School has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to Holocaust education for a second time.
The prestigious award of ‘Beacon School’ is awarded by the University College of London Centre for Holocaust education and follows a rigorous assessment of provision conducted by the centre’s Dr Nicola Wetherall.
Led by head of RE Laura Walton, the programme forms a central framework for students to explore not only the historical perspective but also relationships with the social and cultural fabric of modern day Britain.
In the extensive report Ms Walton is praised for her “passion, commitment and expertise”. The association with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education has led to her to be invited to lecture at UCL conferences on a number of occasions.
Ms Walton said: “To be honest, the first time I did this I hadn’t quite appreciated how massive and international a UCL Conference can be, and anyway I assumed I’d be delivering to a small fringe group. I didn’t really have time to get nervous when I realised I was on the main stage, but I was incredibly proud to be representing the work of Stratton students to an audience of the world’s top academics in the field.”
Ms Walton organises the school’s trips to Poland to visit Auschwitz, with students valuing the experience and personal reflection for many years after. She added: “We just got back from our most recent visit at the end of half term, and the report was waiting for me!”
Headteacher Rob Watson said: “Ms Walton’s work has added a significant dimension to the student experience. It has impact across our school community, including staff. I have been as moved as the students to have had the opportunity to meet a number of Holocaust survivors who have visited us. I have never been failed to be impressed not just by their story, but for their lack of bitterness and complete zest for life and the future.
“The men and women, now in their 90s, are an inspiration, and provide a template for our young people; always optimistic, always resilient and completely convinced mankind can make a better future.”
An exhibition dedicated to the life of Anne Frank is being held on Wednesday, November 15, and open to the public from 5pm until 6.30pm.
Ms Walton added: “Year 9 students will be trained to act as museum guides, and have the opportunity to talk to other students and any members of the public who would like to attend. It’s not confirmed yet, but we are hoping to welcome a Holocaust survivor to the school. We’ll keep our website updated.”