Shropshire Council offered cherry trees as part of Holocaust Memorial Day, which we as a school, thought this was an ideal opportunity to give our students an insight into the history of the event.
We invited Sue Phillips, a member of the Jewish community, and Cllr Nic Laurens, School’s local Councillor, to come to school to help plant the tree as part of our commemoration ceremony.
Mrs Phillips talked about her personal experience, as the child of two Holocaust survivors, on the topic of HMD 2017, which was ‘How does life go on?’. "I enjoyed my visit to your school and was very impressed by the ceremony and by the students" said Mrs Phillips.
Councillor Laurens talked about the importance of caring for our community. "It was good to meet some pupils and staff and I look forward to watching the tree grow and blossom over the coming years".
We lit a candle for the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides which was followed by the planting of our tree, which will become the focal point of our future commemorative ceremonies.
All students involved were very interested in hearing Sue Phillips’ talk. They commented that they wanted to spend more time with her and looked forward to her visiting the school in the future.
The 30 students involved are now Priory School Holocaust Memorial ambassadors. It is their job to relate the message of the event to their peers. Also, they made a promise to look after the tree and make others aware of its significance.
“As the Head of Humanities, it is important that I find interesting and purposeful ways to engage students with the important message of remembering the Holocaust. As we lose Holocaust survivors, it is vital that future generations are there to continue to tell their story and ensure that the world knows the truth of what happened in one of the darkest moments of history.” Said Mr Westleigh Jones.
“Holocaust Memorial Day is important, not just for remembering the Holocaust, but for bearing witness to the other genocides that have taken place. One of the values we develop in our students is to be selfless: implicit in this is making good choices, in our endeavours to embed this value it is important our students are exposed to the failures of mankind as well as the goodness that we share. Following 2 assemblies on the holocaust, we wanted to create a physical representation of this memorial. We have therefore planted this tree to be a focal point in this respect” said Mr Michael Barratt, Executive Principal of The Priory School Trust.
Picture: Shropshire Star