Echo Eternal wins Pearson National Teaching Award

Thursday 3rd December 2020

27th November

We are very proud to announce that the CORE Education Trust’s Echo Eternal project has won the Gold Pearson Teaching Award for Impact Through Partnership.

CORE Education Trust’s Echo Eternal is a commemorative arts engagement programme inspired by Holocaust survivor testimony to promote respect and understanding between different communities.

Rockwood Academy has been centrally involved in the project from the start. Through Echo Eternal, our students have met survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, produced and performed in creative responses to the survivors’ experiences, and learnt valuable skills in leadership and empathy along the way.

We knew that we had won the silver award, but only discovered that we had won the Gold Award today in an exciting unveiling. BBC West Midlands arranged an online video call between Holocaust survivor Mady Gerrard, Sana in Rockwood’s Year 11, and newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky. Mady and Sana discussed the special bond which had developed between them since they first met through Echo Eternal. Then, to her surprise, Sana was handed an envelope. She opened it and learnt, to her amazement and delight, that we had won gold! Balloons and confetti then rained down from her head, prepared by a few teachers who had been given the heads up we’d won.

The excitement of the day continued thereafter. The gold trophy itself arrived shortly afterwards, by special delivery. Everyone who held it commented on how heavy it was!

Then in the evening, our achievement was broadcast to the region on BBC News West Midlands at 6.30. At 7pm, our achievement was also mention on the One Show.

Sana from Year 11 said: “having been involved in Echo Eternal for a long time now. I think it is brilliant. Last year, I travelled to Wales and met Mady Gerrard in her home! That was an incredible experience. I am so pleased that it has won this award.”

Mr Donaldson, Assistant Head Teacher, said: “This is a great achievement for the CORE Education Trust. It is a reflection on many years hard work, slowly building Echo Eternal up to the large-scale project it is today. Echo Eternal has many merits but, for me, its most important role is handing on memory of the Holocaust to future generations.”