News - Year 11 visit to Krakow

On 31 of October, 49 Year 11 students and five staff embarked on a four day History and R.E. visit based in the wonderful European city of Krakow in Poland.   The visit was primarily organised to promote students’ understanding of aspects of their History GCSE course which focuses on life in Nazi Germany. R.E. students also had the opportunity to explore issues related to morality and ethics.

This being the second visit organised by the History Department to Poland, the group resided in the superb location of central Krakow and throughout the visit was blessed with beautiful weather.   On the first day, students were given a fascinating tour of Krakow’s main cathedral where, in the Middle Ages, most Polish kings were crowned and subsequently buried.

Krakow photograph 2 Krakow photograph 1During the tour, students gained valuable insight into Poland’s long and often turbulent history.  On the second day, the group undertook an extensive tour of Krakow and learned a great deal about the city’s rich history both ancient and recent.

The tour included the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz during which students were shown areas used for the filming of Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’.   This film was based on a true story of a successful businessman in World War Two who saved the lives of around a thousand Jewish people by effectively buying them from the Nazi authorities and moving them to the relative safety of Czechoslovakia. Later in the day, students visited the actual site of Schindler’s factory.

On the final full day, the students and staff visited Auschwitz.  They were given a three hour tour of both sites at Auschwitz, the original concentration camp established in 1933 and the death camp established in 1942.  Obviously, the tour had a profound impact, the students being incredibly moved and agreed it was something they would never forget. In addition, it was acknowledged everyone would benefit from such an experience to help appreciate the importance of individual freedom and human rights, to recognise the dangers of prejudice and intolerance and understand their terrible consequences.

The group returned to Westwood College on Monday 03 November from what was an incredibly exciting, enjoyable and immensely poignant trip.

Back to news. This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.