Institute News

CSS South Quadrant School in England Observes Holocaust Memorial Day with IWitness

Students at CSS South Quadrant in England observed Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 with a unique IWitness installation led by teacher Tony Cole.

CSS South Quadrant, in Basildon, Essex, holds a cross-curricular week across its three school sites to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day each year. From Jan. 26-30, 2015, the school observed this year’s theme, “Keeping Memory Alive.”

One of the activities Cole and his fellow teachers organized was to have every classroom in the three sites (over 60 rooms) 'adopt' one of the extermination, concentration, or labor camps for the week. Each room displayed photographs and information about the camp it ‘adopted.’ Each room also 'adopted' a survivor from the camp allocated to that room, and students using the room were shown testimonies from the designated survivor via IWitness. Over the week, students watched a number of survivor testimonies in different classrooms, including survivors of various concentration camps and backgrounds.

CSS South Quadrant is a specialized school for “hard to reach” students, who have social, emotional, behavioral or physical needs. There, Cole has incorporated IWitness into his teaching and development of Holocaust resources through his work with the Centre for Holocaust Education at the University of London’s Institute of Education. Through the Centre’s Beacon Schools program, schools all over the country work in partnership with the Centre for Holocaust Education to improve teaching standards, raise student achievement and strengthen SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) provision in their schools.

CSS South Quadrant is a Beacon School. The focus of Cole and his colleagues’ work with the Centre for Holocaust Education over the past year has been to differentiate the Institute of Education’s approach and materials for teaching about the Holocaust to meet the needs of these 'hard to reach' students.