The Holocaust Educational Trust – Auschwitz Trip

az1On 10th October 2013 Alex (Y13) and I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust. As the two students selected from Tarporley High School and Sixth Form College, we joined a further 200 students from schools across the North-West.

After an initial welcome seminar the previous week, we were already familiar with our group and met at Manchester Airport at 5am ready to start our trip. Accompanied by an ITV News film crew, various photographers and local MP, Stephen O’Brien, we flew to Krakow, Poland on an aircraft chartered especially for the event.

az2Originally built as a labour camp, Auschwitz was much smaller than the recognised Auschwitz-Birkenau site of today. A Polish guide escorted each group; showing us everything from Nazi offices to the last remaining gas chamber. We were surprised at just how close such an horrific historical site was to its neighbouring major town and the atmosphere changed noticeably the moment we walked through the famous gates.

az3Auschwitz-Birkenau was built two miles away from the original site shortly after the start of the Second World War and had only one main purpose, to kill. It is hard to believe the scale of this operation and even harder to imagine spending your last moments there. We learnt that there would be up to 800 people living in one, small, crammed lodge which was not fit for humans to survive. As dusk fell, we attended a Jewish memorial ceremony, just meters away from the remains of a gas chamber which was built to slaughter up to 1000 victims in only 20 minutes. We were each given candles and, after the ceremony, we placed our candles around the site as an act of remembrance to those who died there.

az4Whilst on this trip, it was very important for us to remember to humanise the victims. Over one million people died at Auschwitz-Birkenau and this was just one concentration camp out of hundreds located around Europe. It was an eye-opening experience and one which I will never forget.

Alex and I intend to produce our own memorial to those who lost their lives by presenting our findings to the rest of school in year assemblies, as well as organising a Sixth Form event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January.

Emma Y13

Citizenship in the Sixth Form

6thcit1During the first Sixth Form Citizenship Day of this academic year, Sixth Formers were treated to panel presentations from the Universities of Nottingham, Liverpool, Lancaster and Chester, who provided an insight into their individual institutions as well as responding to a fascinating student led question and answer session.

6thcit2In addition, a visit from Bentley Motors, together with a Bentley  Continental Flying Spur, generated huge excitement as students examined the beautifully engineered car in great detail. The thought provoking Bentley presentation included information on apprenticeships and undergraduate schemes.

 

 

 

 

6thcit3At the same time, the Sixth Form Council ran a coffee morning for older members of the community and welcomed guests from the Baptist & Methodist Church, St Helen’s, OPAL, Iddenshall Hall and many others. Held in the Sixth Form common room, our visitors were treated to homemade refreshments and games of bingo with lots of prizes and very imaginative calling! The event was really well received and brought about a lovely atmosphere in the college.

6thcit4Alongside this, Year 13, who are heavily into their university applications, continued to work on their personal statements and UCAS applications together with their tutors. In the afternoon, Year 12 students attended our annual Enrichment Fair, where they were offered numerous opportunities to volunteer both in the wider community and as ‘Lead Learners’ in various subjects and societies within lower school. All Year 12 students take part in our enrichment scheme and are encouraged to volunteer for at least one hour per week, building self-confidence and transferrable skills that will stay with them through university, employment and beyond.

The day culminated in an inter-tutor netball tournament with the boys having to quickly learn the rules of a non-contact sport!  Worthy winners were 12/13FE who are now at the top of the Inter-tutor Cup leader board.

6thcit5