Rockwood makes a pledge in honour of Holocaust survivor Ann Kirk

Wednesday 20th January 2021

On January 20th Rockwood had the pleasure of hosting the Horizons 21 festival, this time honouring Holocaust Survivor Ann Kirk. Ann had to flee Germany at the age of ten to live with strangers in England, after experiencing many horrors in Germany because of her Jewish background. In Ann’s testimony about her experiences, she emphasises the importance of acceptance and respecting one another, no matter people’s religion or race. Therefore, in her name Rockwood has pledged to hold a Cultural Appreciation Day in the summer term, to celebrate the multicultural community here at Rockwood Academy. The full pledge is as follows:

In Ann Kirk’s name we pledge to encourage everyone in our community to express themselves as individuals and to celebrate the diverse cultures that exist within our community. We will do this by running a Cultural Appreciation day, dedicated to highlighting diversity in our school.

As we made this pledge today, the school took part in a number of activities. We started the day off with a lesson for all pupils about Ann Kirk and the Holocaust, asking students to reflect on the events in World War Two and Ann’s testimony, leading to a discussion on what we can learn from the past. Next, a panel discussion panel took place during Period Two.

In this discussion, a selected group of students discussed in greater depth Ann Kirk’s testimony, and what we can do to prevent such horrors happening again. Meanwhile, throughout the day a series of tweets were posted on the school’s Twitter feed celebrating the diversity of our students. For those students who are in school during lockdown, another activity was creating a fantastic piece of artwork. The students in school made a model boat, overlaid with printed images of Ann Kirk and the words of our pledge.

The idea for the artwork stemmed from the fact that Ann used to go on boat trips with her parents whilst still living in Germany, and as a young adult went to a printing course. If you want to watch the discussion panel, and learn about the other activities which the school took part in, please visit the Horizons website: Day 14: Ann Kirk BEM led by Rockwood Academy – 20th January – Echo Eternal Horizons Festival 2021.

As a school we are looking forward to running the Cultural Appreciation Day in the summer term, once lockdown is over and students are back in school. We look forward to getting more advice and ideas from our brilliantly creative students on how we should go about this.