Spalding Sir John Gleed School pupils petition for end to genocides

Holocaust Memorial day assembly at Sir John Gleed School in Spalding. Photo: SG270115-100TW
Holocaust Memorial day assembly at Sir John Gleed School in Spalding. Photo: SG270115-100TW
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‘Where were the adults?’ was the response of many students at the Sir John Gleed School in Spalding at the Holocaust Memorial Day assemblies and exhibition.

Head of religious studies at the school Gemma Wait, helped by religious studies teacher Penny Watt, organised an exhibition, Genocide: It’s Black and White, to help students understand the importance of this week’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Students from each year group in the school volunteered to take the Holocaust Memorial Day assemblies. Photo: SG270115-102TW

Students from each year group in the school volunteered to take the Holocaust Memorial Day assemblies. Photo: SG270115-102TW

Exhibits included artefacts, art work and 3,876 sheets of A4 paper containing 14,412,500 dots – each dot representing someone killed in genocides since the Holocaust.

Pupils watched films, took assemblies, heard a first-hand account from a Holocaust survivor and drew up a petition calling for an end to genocides and for the UK government to intervene in any future destruction of a racial or religious group.

They have also had lots of discussions, and Gemma said: “We wanted them to grasp how many people perished so we needed the visual impact of the exhibition. The response from them has been overwhelming. They found it really powerful and they learned such a huge amount from it.”

The exhibition provoked some strong reactions, as in student Ben Sandom, seen here with some of the artefacts. Photo: SG270115-111TW

The exhibition provoked some strong reactions, as in student Ben Sandom, seen here with some of the artefacts. Photo: SG270115-111TW

Student readers at the assembly: Mia Gathercole, Lucy Froggatt, Jade Hedger, Emily Emperingham and Kerry Gratton. Photo: SG270115-105TW

Student readers at the assembly: Mia Gathercole, Lucy Froggatt, Jade Hedger, Emily Emperingham and Kerry Gratton. Photo: SG270115-105TW

Luke Marsh views the exhibition, Genocide: It's Black and White, containing art work, artefacts and a visual representation of the lives lost in genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfurand and Rwanda. Photo: SG270115-107TW

Luke Marsh views the exhibition, Genocide: It's Black and White, containing art work, artefacts and a visual representation of the lives lost in genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfurand and Rwanda. Photo: SG270115-107TW

Sombre faces at the Sir John Gleed School Holocaust Memorial day Year 8 assembly. Photo: SG270115-101TW

Sombre faces at the Sir John Gleed School Holocaust Memorial day Year 8 assembly. Photo: SG270115-101TW