During Feb half term, the History department took a group of Year 9 students on the Battlefields trip (which has its own blog for more details/photos- http://wp.aggs.trafford.sch.uk/blog/category/history-battlefields-trip/).
We visited and saw many sites linked with the war, such as; Lijssenthoek Military cemetery, ‘In Flanders Fields’ exhibition, Vimy Ridge, Thiepval Memorial, Sanctuary Wood (Hill 62 Museum), and the Memorial Museum Passchendale to name but a few!
Whilst on our trip we also delved into the native cuisine with some crepe making, insight into bread and croissant making at Boulangerie Berquier “Le Fournil” and a visit to a chocolate factory, Les Chocolats de Beussent. Other activities included a trip to the beach, an aquarium and a scavenger hunt which showcased the creative and original skills (and dance moves!) of the students.
All students (and staff) returned safely and sleepily with a deepened understanding of the war and its impact, and also with a plethora of experience of French and Belgian culture.
In November, two of our sixth form students took part in a Lessons from Auschwitz project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
The students took part in a series of preparation seminars before undertaking the visit to Poland, including talks from Holocaust survivors, workshops on Prewar-Jewish life and discussion on why it is important to remember the Holocaust to the present day.
A one day visit to Poland then took place, in which the students visited Oświęcim to gain insight into pre-war Jewish life, then visiting Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, culminating with a Rabbi led candlelit memorial service.
Although a very difficult experience (both emotionally and physically), the project was invaluable in understanding and exploring how remembering the Holocaust is essential, both in the context of the time, but to this very day also.
The students dealt with all aspects of this project with great compassion and respect, and have since been able to use their experiences to deliver a series of assemblies with the purpose of education and remembrance.