Vision Schools Scotland

University of the West of Scotland

February 4, 2019
by Catriona Oates

Free book – Questions I am asked about the Holocaust

In honour of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, independent publisher Scribe will be distributing 1000 copies of the new title Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust to UK schools and libraries.. In this brief, eloquent book, suitable for adults or younger readers alike, a campaigning ninety-four year-old survivor answers the questions about the Holocaust you never dared to ask – and explains why today’s politicians need to heed the lessons of the past more than ever

To request copies for your school or library, please email the close of business on February 22 specifying your postal address, the quantity requested and whether you would like teaching notes. You will receive an email confirmation when books are dispatched.

January 17, 2019
by Jane Caffrey


Expressions of Interest for 2019 are now open.

Schools which want to apply for Vision Schools Scotland accreditation are required to express their interest in this before submitting their application. Expressions of interest should be emailed to FAO Jane Caffrey.

Vision Schools Scotland Timeline:

  • 10th October – 28th January 2019:   school  submit  their expression of   interest in applying for Vision Schools Scotland accreditation
  • 15th April – 13th May: schools submit Vision School Scotland applications
  • End of June:  schools receive feedback on their application
  • November: successful schools awarded Vision Schools accreditation

How to Apply:


Download the application form (MS Word or pdf formats)

A Helpful guide from the teachers at St Roch’s Secondary, Glasgow

November 30, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Vision Schools at the IHRA plenary – Ferrara, Italy


Vision Schools’ director, Dr Paula Cowan was working with international colleagues in Holocaust Education  at the IHRA plenary in Italy this week. Here she is pictured with  Sally Sealey,  Lord Eric Pickles, Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge)  and Olivia Marks- Waldman ( HMDT) . – some of the other UK delegates on IHRA.  In the centre photo, Paula is pictured with Gilly Carr , at the Academic Working Group of the IHRA . We’re all looking forward to learning about what advances were made in Holocaust Education and partnership while she was away! Good work, Paula!


November 20, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Calling all Vision Schools teachers…and anyone else interested in Citizenship and Holocaust Education….

You might have already seen our exciting news about our new blended Masters’ level professional learning for teachers and any other interested educators, developing your professional knowledge of teaching citizenship and HE in schools….. the closing date for applications is fast approaching! If you are interested, please send your application in on or before DECEMBER 8th 2018.

Please get in touch with admissions if you have any questions…. or tweet us @VisionSchools……we are looking forward to hearing from you!



November 9, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Holocaust Education; some professional learning for staff

Jenny Carson, from our partners,  the Holocaust Education Trust, attended our awards ceremony at the Scottish Parliament yesterday. Jenny was kind enough to offer some twilight professional learning for interested teachers in advance of Thursday’s awards. Some 20 teachers from schools in and around the Glasgow area attended a workshop hosted by St Roch’s Secondary – a Vision School.


Jenny led a workshop outlining, among many other things, the importance of discussing terms and definitions when teaching Holocaust Education to children and young people. She highlighted some of the opportunities available to staff to deepen their own knowledge of HE through the acclaimed Lessons from Auschwitz programme, and we all participated in negotiating ethical dilemmas and choices in different situations when  perpetrators; bystanders; resisters or accomplices were, or might be involved. 


It was an excellent session, and we are very grateful to Patrick McShane (Modern Studies teacher) and Stephen Stone (HT) for kindly hosting the event for us. It was a lovely prelude to the awards ceremony, and useful staff development for everyone involved.



We thought Patrick’s corridor display was spectacular!

November 9, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Vision Schools Awards 2018

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:



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.

October 1, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Calling all educators! Citizenship and HE module is now live!

At Vision Schools we are delighted to share our exciting news that our new SCQF level 11 module in Citizenship and Holocaust Education is now open for enrolment. The module is designed as a blended (face to face AND online)professional learning opportunity for all educators interested in Citizenship and HE in schools, museums or other relevant organisations.

The module will begin in January 2019 and conclude in June with a summative assessment. Pathways to other level 11 programmes are available, should any participants be interested in completing further modules for a full Masters’ qualification. Please have a look at the details by clicking on the image above  for further information on the content, structure and application advice for the module.

June 11, 2018
by Catriona Oates

Masters’ level Module in Citizenship and Holocaust Education

At Vision Schools we are very excited to announce that we will soon be accepting applications for our new Masters’ level module in Citizenship and Holocaust Education. The module is due to start in January 2019.
It will involve blended learning approaches (online and face to face), both on and off campus and includes diverse and interesting themes such as evaluation of sources in ‘post-truth’ times and citizenship in the curriculum.

We will keep you informed about timing of enrolment and further details in due course. Make sure you follow us on twitter (@VisionSchools) for all the latest news! Download the flyer below for further information.
Citizenship and H Ed Flyer

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