Students’ sobering visit to Auschwitz

Woodkirk Academy students pictured during their trip to Auschwitz.
Woodkirk Academy students pictured during their trip to Auschwitz.

Pupils from Woodkirk Academy are reflecting on a sombre visit to Auschwitz after a school trip to the historic landmark.

Four sixth form students were selected to take part in the ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ tour; A one day visit to Poland.

The students began their day at Auschwitz I where they were given a tour of the camp by a Holocaust expert.

A spokesperson from the school said: “The students experienced all aspects of the camp, from the living conditions to the gas chambers, and were prompted to reflect on their thoughts and feelings along the way.

“One of the most haunting parts of this tour was when the pupils witnessed the two tonnes of hair, taken from the prisoners of the camp.

“The sheer amount was enough to stun them into silence.

“In the afternoon, the students moved on to Auschwitz Birkenau.

“They were greeted by the iconic railway that runs through the site; a railway which, quite literally, signalled the end of the line for so many people under the Nazi rule.

“After touring the camp, the students took part in a memorial service at the ruins of Crematoria II.

“The service was led by a Rabbi who had lost members of his family at this very site.

“In spite of this, the Rabbi was in great spirits and he gave the students a much needed boost at the end of a very difficult day.

“When the service concluded, each student was asked to light a candle to represent light overcoming the great darkness of the camp.

“All students agreed that the trip was a harrowing, yet great experience.”

Sixth form student Lauren Hunter said: “It was an insight into Auschwitz and made you think.

“I had a mixture of emotions throughout the day.

“It was a fantastic experience and one I would recommend everyone should visit if they were given the opportunity.”

* Meanwhile, the school is celebrating favourable results after data was published by Oxford Analytics.

The data reveals Woodkirk is ranked second in the country for BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design, third for BTEC Applied Law and 18th in the country for ‘A’ Level Law.

Jamie Lowe, Head of Sixth Form, said: “Staff and students worked incredibly hard and such recognition is extremely well-deserved.”