Year 11 pupils at the school in West Yorkshire took a day to learn about extremism and teachers used the atrocities at Srebrenica in July 1995 as a case study to underline that acts of extreme violence run throughout history.
Students used pictures from Srebrenica and discussed the way that events unfolded, what was allowed to happen and what the photos represented.
They also watched the BBC documentary ‘A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited’. The programme – broadcast on 6 July this year – followed a group of British students born in 1995 as they visited Srebrenica.
Schools in England are required to provide spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development for their pupils and demonstrate how well their pupils develop in SMSC.
Teacher Maja Kozic organised the workshop on Srebrenica as part of the school’s SMSC day in October 2015 for 170 Year 11 pupils, who were interested and wanted to know more about what happened in Srebrenica; how more than 8,000 people could be systematically murdered in a central European country just 20 years ago.
“I wanted to show pupils that extremism has been around for years and it’s not just what is in today’s news,” she explained. “The resources contained within Remembering Srebrenica’s education pack were informative and easy to use – they really helped students begin to understand the complexities and dangers of extremism.”
She added that the BBC documentary had moved a lot of our pupils and raised a lot of questions, as well as emotions.
Ms Kozic was born in the city of Mostar, in southern Bosnia & Herzegovina. She left her birthplace as a five-year-old, when her family fled the country as the Balkans conflict started.
“What happened in Bosnia is something that is close to my heart,” she said. “I wanted to use the example of Srebrenica to get our students discussing and thinking about extremism. I had visited the museum in Sarajevo over the summer, so I had background knowledge to answer pupils’ questions.
“An hour-long lesson was not enough to go through everything that our students wanted to know. I personally got the group of pupils I was working with to make a pledge to prevent this sort of atrocity from happening.”
Ms Kozic added that she planned to run a second workshop with pupils based around the lessons of Srebrenica, as part of another SMSC day planned for December 2015.