GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

UWS launches pioneering new Holocaust educational resource

16 March 2021

A pioneering new educational resource has been created by Vision Schools Scotland, at the University of the West of Scotland to support teaching secondary school pupils about the Holocaust.

Launching today , the new online resource tells the story of Holocaust survivor, Marianne Grant, and is freely available to all secondary teachers in Scotland by logging in to MyGTCS and accessing Resources in MyPL.

The resource has been tailored for the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and was created with funding from the Association of Jewish Refugees, the Gordon Cook Foundation and the Netherlee and Clarkston Charitable Trust.

It comprises film testimony and a specialised teacher manual, bringing the importance of Holocaust education further into focus with contemporary examples of antisemitism and discrimination in Scotland and across the world.

The resource has been authored by Lynn Nisbet, Lecturer in Education and Dr Paula Cowan, Reader in Education at the University of the West of Scotland, who is also the Director of Vision Schools Scotland.

Dr Cowan said: “This resource was first distributed to schools by the Scottish Executive and Learning and Teaching in Scotland in 2002 and became obsolete. This second edition comprises a digitised film and a teacher manual that focuses on the content and principles of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. We are so delighted to bring this valuable resource to a new generation of learners, to support teachers in their teaching of the Holocaust, and that teachers will be able to access this easily on the GTC Scotland website.

“Vision Schools Scotland is committed to supporting and encouraging teachers to not only teach secondary school pupils about the Holocaust, but to develop their own knowledge and skills in this incredibly important subject area, and keep conversations, discussions and, importantly, learning, about the events of the Holocaust alive for today’s young people.”

Marianne Grant’s daughter, Geraldine Shenkin, said the resource would be ‘immensely important to her’. She commented: “My mum was a remarkable lady who survived through horrendous times. To tell her story through this educational resource is the most wonderful way to continue her legacy for future generations. Her journey of survival and the horrors of the Holocaust should never be forgotten. All of her family are incredibly proud of her and her contribution to education.”

Dr Pauline Stephen, GTC Scotland Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “GTC Scotland is happy to be hosting Vision Schools Scotland’s teaching pack on our Equality and Diversity Hub and MyPL. This valuable resource for secondary teachers will provide young people with a deeply personal insight into the Holocaust and understanding of the importance of tackling discrimination in their daily lives. It is linked closely to the Professional Values of Social Justice, Trust and Respect and Integrity, which are at the heart of the Professional Standards for Teachers.”

The launch comes after five Schools across the country were recognised as part of the Vision Schools Scotland programme for their good practice in Holocaust education at a special online event earlier this month.

Guests included Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Jackie Baillie MSP; Jackson Carlaw MSP and the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Mr John Swinney; as well as barrister and broadcaster, Robert Rinder, who hosts the reality courtroom series, Judge Rinder.

The Vision Schools Scotland programme is a partnership with the Holocaust Educational Trust which supports upper primary and secondary school teachers who teach the Holocaust by recognising, sharing and celebrating good practice in this area.

Launched in 2017 with three schools, the programme has grown to include 19 Vision Schools, and a network of 40 to 50 schools that are involved in varying stages of the programme.

To access the resource, teachers can log in to their MyGTCS profile, click the MyPL icon and open the Resources section.

Visit here for more information on Vision Schools Scotland.