In April 2016, a delegation of teachers visited Srebrenica to learn about Srebrenica and the lessons that we must pass onto young people in the UK. Among those teachers was Laura Turner, Science teacher at Garth Hill College. Upon her return, Laura commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide within her school.
She began by sharing her experiences with staff at a staff forum, explaining the purpose of her trip, what she had learnt and the plans in place for educating the pupils at Garth Hill about the Genocide. Pupils in Yr7-10 were then taught about Srebrenica in their PSHE lessons, learning about the events that led up to the genocide, the column and the impact it has had on those left behind. This was tied into the whole school’s term value of ‘kindness’. Following these lessons, several events were organised for Memorial week to commemorate the genocide.
A non-uniform day was held on the 11th July where all pupils in school paid to come into school in their non-uniform; the money will be donated to Remembering Srebrenica. All pupils attended an assembly on the day to refresh their knowledge of Srebrenica and ensure they understand why they were in non-uniform on that day, as well as informing them of other events that would be taking pace during the week.
When educating pupils about the Srebrenica genocide, Laura found that pupils showed a particular interest in the column and the experiences of those who chose to try to escape Srebrenica through the woods. To commemorate these victims, the school organised a 112 walk where 112 pupils walked 1 km around the school grounds to symbolise the 112km march from Srebrenica to Tuzla. They were joined by College Principal Keith Grainger, Bracknell Forest Borough Mayor Councillor Tony Virgo and Rebecca Heron from Remembering Srebrenica.
Finally, an art competition was run for pupils in yrs 7-9, asking students to create a poster based on their learning about Srebrenica. 10 posters were shortlisted and then judged by Mrs Hart (Assistant Principal of Haversham House, Head of Visual Arts at South Hill Park Gallery, Sarah Collicott and Caroline Collingwood-Anstey from Artscape management) 3 winning posters were chosen.
The events demonstrate the range of ways that schools can commemorate and learn the lessons through different areas of the curriculum.