Holocaust Memorial Day

The Power of Words

This year, Parkhill Junior School had the honour and privilege of participating in a special exhibition for Holocaust Memorial Day, on 26th January 2018, in Valentines Mansion.
The exhibition was open to the members of the community, to pay their respects and to remember the lives lost in the Holocaust
‘The Power of Words’ was the theme behind the project, led by Mr Wright and class 5W.It culminated in haikus written by 5W, focusing on the victims of the Holocaust. These were put on display in Valentines Mansion.
For Class 5W, this compassionate and profoundly important project began with a book called ‘Phileasus’ Fortune’. It is about a boy who lives in a world where you have to buy words. This powerful book helps children to understand the true power of words and of how people held captive in concentration camps, lose all their rights. Including the right to express themselves.
Class 5W also read ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas,’ a book about a boy called Bruno, whose father works for Adolf Hitler. One day, whilst exploring his new home, Bruno sees a boy across a fence, wearing striped pyjamas. Intrigued, Bruno wants to find out more and, in doing so, builds a friendship with Shmuel.
A n educational visit to the Redbridge Museum, led to a deeper understanding of WW2.  5W learnt about Leon Greenman, a British survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and author of ‘An Englishman in Auschwitz.’ Also, during this visit, the children learnt about how to be curators, in preparation for their own exhibition, at Valentines Mansion.
In preparation for their exhibition in Valentines Mansion, the children had the opportunity to work with many professionals such as Helen Watson, an artist, who helped make bricks out of clay with survivors’ quotes on them. They worked with a choreographer, Emma, who helped put together a dance piece portraying strong emotions in the face of adversity. This was recorded by a professional videographer, Marc.
“We had the chance to meet a Rabbi who said he was really touched by what we had put together and it was a shame that it was only up for one day.” Maira Farique 5W.
“I really enjoyed being a curator (tour guide) because we had the chance to meet lots of people and had the privilege to show them around this important project. We showed them all the things that we had worked hard to put together, as a team.” Samuel Valins.
“It was an interesting experience. We had the chance to meet important people like the Mayor and Mayoress. We also met members of the Jewish community who said this was a special way to remember the friends they had lost.” Ayaan Jiva, 5W
Class 5W have learnt an incredible amount through this very special experience and have shared this with the rest of the school.
Our children fully appreciate that people should not use words for creating war and conflict but for spreading love joy and peace.