King’s Ely has become one of only ten Partner Schools of the National Holocaust Centre following the development of professional excellence in Holocaust teaching and learning.
The school has been selected for the partnership, which entitles schools to curriculum support, professional development and reduced admissions to the centre, for its outstanding integrated Holocaust curriculum, which extends across a range of subjects and year groups.
In King’s Ely Senior, Jewish responses to the Holocaust have been taught in Year 9 since 1995, and all Year 10 and 11 students study the topic in Religious Studies, which is a core GCSE subject at the school. King’s Ely regularly celebrates outstanding GCSE and A Level results in the subject, with five recent leavers with Oxbridge offers studying Religious Studies with Philosophy and Ethics at A Level. In addition, this year students and staff will commemorate the annual Holocaust Memorial Day in January at Ely Cathedral.
One of the key messages promoted by the National Holocaust Centre and echoed by the school’s integrated curriculum is that the Holocaust has consequences for everyone.
Gill Smith, Head of Religious Studies and Director of Higher Education at King’s Ely, explained: “At King’s Ely, the Holocaust is taught as part of a wider curriculum promoting personal responsibility and reconciliation, with a focus on how we treat one another. Lessons learned from the Holocaust feed into themes around global citizenship, international relations and personal development.”
Gill added: “Over the next 12 months, with support from the National Holocaust Centre, we will be developing our Holocaust curriculum even further, and we are hoping to stage a collaborative exhibition at Ely Cathedral in 2016.”