How can life go on?

Staff and students at Millthorpe joined thousands of people across the country to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

This week all students have attended an assembly lead by Mr noble, Head of RE, which looked at the ongoing crisis in Darfur and how this affects the lives of children growing up their. You can view the presentation used in the assembly by clicking here.

In the morning Year 9 students took part in special lessons run by the History, RE and MFL departments, aimed at achieving a better understanding of the Holocaust that took place in the Second World War and what the Holocaust means today.

In the afternoon students watched a film about the White Rose non-violent German resistance movement. At the end of the day students wrote their thoughts onto pieces of card and we have hung these on a memory tree in Reception. Students thought about what they had learned, what had moved them the most and what they will do differently as a consequence. Below are some quotes from the students.

I have learnt how much strength, bravery, resilience and perseverance play a role in being able to stand up for what is right.

I will always accept those who are different and appreciate how I can voice my opinions, and live without fear of persecution and punishment.

I am grateful to have learnt more about the Holocaust because I can be thankful for everything I have and remember those who lost their lives.

Today has taught me to be thankful for the freedom we have today and the rights we sometimes take for granted.

If you think something isn’t right, you should stand up because if you don’t then maybe no one else will.

Today I have learnt about voice. The voice that millions never had. They had to endure horrific torture and I believe on one should experience that.

City of York Civic Event

Students from Millthorpe and Fulford Schools took part in the City of York Civic Event on Sunday 22 January.

The national theme of Holocaust Memorial day is ‘How can Life Go On?” The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor and the Civic Party. A moving account was given by Michael Barrie of how life was affected by the Holocaust and what it was like in a Displaced Persons Camp. These camps were set up as the first step in the process of rehabilitating the thousands of people freed from concentration camps in 1945. Comparisons were made to the plight of the thousands of people, including children, who are trapped in refugee camps and the struggles they face. A shocking figure Michael Barrie shared with us is that of the total world population, 1 in every 114 people are displaced, either as a migrant, an asylum seeker or a refugee.

One of the questions asked by Millthorpe students Tiger Moat and Susie Simpson was ‘What can we do to help?’ They provided work for a display that made up part of the exhibition on show at the event and gave examples of practical things we as an individual or community can do to help displaced persons today.

Alex Hanley from Year 9 took part in the Civic Event and gave a speech which summed up how his work as an Anne Frank Guide had affected him:

“I was one of the Anne Frank Guides at Millthorpe School. I really enjoyed being a tour guide. I liked being able to pass the knowledge we learnt in our training on to Year 7 and 8 classes that we showed round. I feel that over all the guided tours I’ve done, each one has made me more confident in speaking in front of others, a skill that in my view has helped me in many other aspects of school life.

“Before becoming an Anne Frank Guide, I had already read quite a lot about the military aspect of the Second World War; however, I had not previously learnt about the Holocaust or Anne Frank’s story. Because of this, I found the exhibition to be a good opportunity to learn something new and share it with others.

“I can only being to imagine how it must have felt for its eight occupants to live in the secret annexe for two years. I have complete respect for the inhabitants and the resilience they showed in such horrific circumstances. I fell that Anne’s diary offers a window into this tragic story and helps us to understand the events that took place.

“Stories like Anne’s not only remind us about what happened in the Holocaust, but they teach us about how we should try to deal with prejudice in society today. Prejudice, like Islamophobia, seen at the moment bears a remarkable similarity to the discrimination against Jews throughout Hitler’s time in power.

“Even in the 21st century, genocide can and does still occur, as we saw in Darfur in 2003. This leads me to ask how we can stop atrocities such as these from happening again and it has led me to believe that individuals have the potential to drive change. Anne Frank’s story is a prominent example.”