July 15th 2020
UCL’s Centre for Holocaust Education has awarded Rockwood with their prestigious quality mark, making us only the sixteenth school to achieve this accolade.
The quality mark recognises Rockwood’s exemplary Holocaust education, and the accreditation process explored the details of every aspect of our genocide curriculum. The accreditor, an esteemed academic from the university, observed a Year 8 lesson about the Holocaust and met with staff and students. She was hugely impressed by the quality of the teaching and learning in the Year 8 lesson, and praised Rockwood for offering the sane quality of education in lockdown that we would be in more normal times. Throughout the day, she was particularly impressed by the intelligent and mature way our students were able to speak about this challenging topic.
Our journey to achieving the quality mark began when the Centre for Holocaust Education awarded us Beacon school status in 2018. For this, our staff worked alongside academics from the university to develop an in-depth scheme of work about the Holocaust. We then served as a “beacon” for Holocaust education by delivering CPD for local schools.
To get the quality mark, we had to show that we had done much more besides. We were proud to speak to UCL about our Holocaust Memorial Week exhibition, curated each year by our students and opened to the community –our local MP has even attended! The exhibition focuses on survivors, and emphasises how they have managed to live rich lives after 1945.
Rockwood has built relationships with many Holocaust survivors, and this aspect of our work was key to achieving the quality mark. Back in January, a group of our students went to visit Holocaust survivor Mady Gerrard in her home in Wales. The following month another Holocaust survivor, Agnes Kaposi, came to Rockwood to deliver assemblies and a STEM workshop.
Rockwood is proud to participate in Echo Eternal, the commemorative arts engagement programme inspired by Holocaust survivor testimony. As part of the programme, this year our students have helped plan and deliver Holocaust exhibitions in Coventry Cathedral and St Paul’s, Birmingham.
Ms Darr, Head Teacher, said: “We are delighted to have achieved the quality mark from UCL, which reflects the quality of our Holocaust education. But we are not resting on our laurels. We have big plans for next year, and we now want to start sharing our best practice nationally.”
Mr Singh, Head of History at Rockwood, said: “A lot of meticulous planning has gone into the Holocaust scheme of work in order to ensure that our students are provided with a first class educational experience. It has been a pleasure to work with the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and the History department is looking forward to continue to share best practice across the country”.
Ayaan Ali, in Year 8, said: “In history lessons at the moment, we are learning about the Holocaust and the awful effect of the events. The lessons are online because of the pandemic, but they are very informative and I think it is important to know what happened to improve the future. I am pleased we got the quality mark, as we have done so much to commemorate the Holocaust, for example Echo Eternal and assemblies.”