This status, which is awarded by University College, London, to only a few schools each year, reflects the confidence that UCL has in the school with regard to the quality of the education it provides and its commitment to developing students’ understanding of the Holocaust. A major part of this award is a place for our Head of History, Mr Paul Connor, on a comprehensive training programme of the very highest quality by UCL and the Institute of Education (the latter is currently ranked the number one university in the world for education). The programme includes, for example five days of intensive training in London and four days in Poland as well as much else. Through this, Beacon Schools can draw upon UCL's unparalleled expertise and resources in Holocaust education.
The programme is not, however, just about the history of the Holocaust - it is also about developing students' understanding of the Holocaust in other ways and is very much cross-curricular. It will cover, for example, issues of ethics and morality, the geography of the Holocaust, Holocaust literature, the complicity of business in the Holocaust and much more. The aim of the programme is also very much to develop students’ independent learning, a vital attribute transferable to all subjects. The programme will also establish Ampleforth College as a Beacon School for Holocaust Education in our region, with responsibility for not only teaching our students but also leading many other schools in our local area.
Given that a very comprehensive application had to be made for what was a highly competitive process, it is a testimony to the quality of the History Department, the quality of education overall at Ampleforth and the confidence that UCL has in us that we have been awarded this place. The next few years look, therefore, to be very exciting ones, not just in the History Department but, due to the cross-curricular nature of the programme and the enthusiasm that so many of our staff have for contributing, in all departments at Ampleforth.
Please click here to learn more about the project.