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Pupils working on project

Never Again

Rachel Waugh – Painsley Catholic College

On Monday 20th June Painsley Catholic College hosted an event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Second World War the project was called ‘Never Again’.

The beneficiaries of the day included those connected with Painsley Catholic College, Cheadle, Stoke – On – Trent. 195 year 9 students had the pleasure of experiencing the event. In addition the day had a major impact on Staff from a variety of curriculum areas, not only those directly involved in leading activities, but those who were fortunate enough to be teaching year 9 during the duration of the activity. Staff directly involved included members of several departments including English, History, ICT, R.E., Art, Music etc. The local community made aware of the impact of the day through the local press and school newsletter.


The aims and objectives of the day were various and included the intentions…

  • To help students to become informed citizens and recognise the importance of democracy in action.
  • To encourage year 9 pupils to consider the impact of World War 2 on European communities.
  • To reflect upon the importance of learning about World War 2.
  • To enable year 9 students to reflect upon the events of the Holocaust through a variety of learning activities.
  • To reflect upon reasons for and appropriate commemoration activities.
  • To encourage year 9 students to grow in respect for veterans and those who lived and suffered the effects of World War 2.

After months of planning and preparation and liaison with the Holocaust Education Trust, Monday 20th June was allocated as the focal point of this activity. Year 9 pupils were enlightened by the personal insights and reflections of Dr. Paul Oppenheimer a survivor of the Bergen-Belson concentration camps. Dr. Oppenheimer was invited to talk about his experiences as a Jew in Europe, during the Second World War. Pupils were given an insight into a personal account of prisoner camp life and the treatment many people received at the hands of the Nazis. He both inspired the pupils and accepted questions from students.

During a variety of follow-up activities students were given the opportunity to reflect and explore the events and effects of the Holocaust through a variety of mediums. Activities included creative writing from the point of view of the Jews, the designing of a gate which illustrated thoughts reflecting those involved in the Holocaust, The composing of an appropriate piece of war music.

Pupils gained a fascinating insight and opportunity through the events of the day. Following Dr. Oppenheimer’s testimony pupils were stunned to silence, despite it being one of the hottest days of the year! The rapturous applause clarified their thoughts at what they were being presented with. In the following session pupils produced work at an in depth level illustrating the lasting impression the day had had on the students.