On Thursday, 8th November, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, we at Vision Schools were extremely proud to be able to see all the hard work of our Vision Schools colleagues – teachers and pupils – justly rewarded at a very special ceremony in the Burns room of the Scottish Parliament.
The ceremony had the right mix of solemnity and celebration for the occasion. We were joined by representatives from the Association for Jewish refugees; Sense Over Sectarianism; the EIS, the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Anne Frank Trust and many MSPs, including Leader of the House, Ken Macintosh. Dr Paula Cowan welcomed everyone and Jackson Carlaw, MSP gave a warm and enthusiastic address. Lord Pickles, UK’s Special Envoy on Post-Holocaust issues, distributed Level 1 awards to lead teachers and pupils from The Royal High School, Edinburgh; St Roch’s,Secondary School, Glasgow; St Columba’s High School, Inverclyde; Calderwood Lodge Primary School, East Renfrewshire, and a Level 2 award to Bishopbriggs Academy, East Dunbartonshire. Lord Pickles shared some closing remarks, congratulating the hard work of everyone involved, and gave a timely reminder that denial and distortion are huge threats to freedom and democracy in our times. This and illustrate exactly why the work in Holocaust Education is more important now, more than ever for our young people.
St Columba’s pupils and teacher, John McKay receive their award from Lord Pickles
St Rochs staff, Patrick MacShane and HT Stephen Stone with pupils receiving their award.
Calderwood Lodge staff and pupils at the Scottish Parliament with Jackson Carlow and Ken McIntosh, MSPs; Lord Eric Pickles, and Dr Paula Cowan
Royal High School receive their Vision Schools Award
A very proud Vision Schools team, with L-R Prof Henry Maitles, UWS, Catriona Oates, UWS Jackson Carlow MSP Jenny Carson, Holocaust Educational Trust, Dr Paula Cowan, UWS, Lord Eric Pickles, Dr Andrew Killen UWS, Dr Susan Henderson, UWS, Jane Caffrey, UWS and Abi Ledwith, UWS
Bishopbriggs Academy have shared their own experiences already on their school website – please have a look and congratulate them!
It was a very enjoyable afternoon and everyone in the Vision Schools team at UWS is immensely proud of the hard work and achievements of all the teachers and young people involved. We are looking forward to advancing this work with you immensely. Good job everyone!
Here is the official press release from the University of the West of Scotland
Innovation and good practice in Holocaust Education recognised in Scotland
Five schools across Scotland have been recognised for their good practice in Holocaust education at a special event held at the Scottish Parliament.
Vision Schools Scotland, a partnership between University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the Holocaust Educational Trust, awarded Level 1 status to St Roch’s Secondary in Glasgow, the Royal High School in Edinburgh, Calderwood Lodge Primary in East Renfrewshire and St Columba’s School, Inverclyde, and Level 2 status to Whilst Bishopbriggs Academy in East Dunbartonshire. was awarded Level 2 status.
A Vision School is committed to the view that learning about the Holocaust is a vital part of young people’s education. In order to be accredited, schools must demonstrate their existing commitment to the importance of Holocaust education and to developing teacher confidence to ensure expertise in this subject matter, therefore establishing a network of Holocaust education teachers in Scotland.
With two levels of achievement available, the programme embeds responsible citizenship at its core, a key principle of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, as it encourages effective and sustained school-based Holocaust education.
The event, held at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 8 November 2018, was hosted by Jackson Carlaw MSP, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. The Rt Hon Lord Pickles, who holds the role as Special Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, and is co-chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board was a guest speaker.
Lord Pickles said: “The Holocaust is one of the most crucial and compelling topics studied in schools today. Students who have an opportunity to examine the causes and consequences of the Holocaust feel it is the most intensive, engaging and life changing course of study they undertake in their school career.”
“Projects like Vision Schools Scotland are crucial in establishing a strong culture of Holocaust studies in the United Kingdom, allowing young people to learn the lessons of history and instilling teachers with the confidence to teach creatively about this challenging subject.”
Dr. Paula Cowan, Reader in Education at UWS’ School of Education, Director of Vision Schools Scotland, said: “We are very pleased that so many schools across Scotland have expressed an interest in becoming a Vision School, and congratulate our newly accredited schools.”
“These schools effectively provide opportunities for leadership and shared learning by pupils through embedding Holocaust Education. This ensures that pupils learn both about, and from, the Holocaust. Both types of learning contribute to anti-racist education and responsible citizenship, and support religious equality. Lessons from the Holocaust engage students in wider learning that explores the contemporary relevance of the Holocaust, such as the importance of human rights.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “There are many vital lessons that can be learnt from the Holocaust and it is imperative that future generations never forget. We are pleased to be running this programme and taking a lead role in the delivery of Holocaust Education best practice in Scottish schools.”
For more information on the Vision Schools Scotland Programme please visit: https://www.uws.ac.uk/research/research-impact-influence/holocaust-education-vision-schools-scotland/
For more information, please contact Lauren Gaston / Naomi Clark, Marketing and Communications Officer at UWS, on 0141 849 4230
About University of the West of Scotland
University of the West of Scotland is one of Scotland’s largest modern universities. It aims to have a transformational influence on the economic, social and cultural development of the West of Scotland, and beyond, by providing relevant, high quality, inclusive higher education and innovative and useful research. The University aims to make the communities it serves more successful; and create opportunities for all to participate.