Over the past two weeks sixty students from Year 9 have visited the Imperial War Museum in London to learn more about the Holocaust. They were able to build on classroom learning by taking part in a workshop run by the museum, and then exploring the Holocaust Galleries.

Lead Teacher of History, Tom Ashley, was pleased with the students’ response: “Many students have commented on how it has developed their understanding of what constitutes a genocide, how different groups have been persecuted throughout history and why the current tension in the Middle East is so rooted in historical issues.”

“I led Holocaust Memorial Week assemblies in school,” continued Tom, “and was asked by a student about how the Holocaust links to the current situation in Gaza. For our students, gaining an understanding of the historical context and of issues and themes that have emerged over time is very useful for increasing their understanding of current political events happening around them in the world today.”
Year 9 pupil Rayaan agrees: “I’m so grateful for the chance to see the Holocaust exhibition and learn from the team at the Imperial War Museum. It was interesting to study the Holocaust in school first and then see so many actual examples of how the Nazis treated Jewish people. Especially given what’s happening around the world today, I feel lucky to have had the chance to do this.”
Rivers Academy, which is part of the Aspirations Academies Trust, places a strong emphasis on applied learning.

Assistant Principal, Joe Williams highlights the diverse learning experiences on offer: “We’re proud of the amount of learning outside the classroom we’re able to provide, whether that be a trip into the City or something closer to home.”

Closer to home at Baber Bridge Parade on Staines Road, is where ten students of the school’s Graffiti club, which has been running since last September, have been working. They were offered the chance to put their skills into action by creating a design for bike shop owner, Dan Barnett.
Under the supervision of Rivers’ Deputy Coordinator of Arts, Emma Sharp, the teens worked together to spray their designs onto the shop shutters.

“We’re so grateful to Dan the Bike Man for setting up a community project like this,” explained Emma, “the students had a great experience practising a new style of working and experimenting with new materials to express their creativity. Dan was really pleased with the outcome!”
“We are very proud of the way our students conduct themselves when they are learning off-site,” added Joe.

“Being connected to the wider community is an important part of the school’s ethos and we are always looking to make new links.”

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