As part of a group of 30 National Leaders of Education in the UK the
Principal of Whitley Academy, Coventry, Lorraine Allen, took part in the
International Benchmarking study tour to look at as many aspects of
Education as possible, visit as many different schools of differing
denominations as possible and speak with Ministers and State Officials
of Australia and Singapore.
The tour was a non-stop whirlwind of visits, discussions, reflections
and reporting taking in 2 schools in Singapore and 8 in Australia and 3
discussion seminars with staff and Ministers in New South Wales and
The school’s visited included:
Hwa Chong Institute, Singapore
St Theresa’s Convent School, Singapore
Wesley College, Melbourne
University High School, Melbourne
Frankston High School, Melbourne
Bendigo Senior College or Camp Hill Primary School, Melbourne
Moss Vale High, Sydney
Chevalier Catholic College, Sydney
Merrylands High School, Sydney
Northern Beaches Christian School, Sydney
They included independent, faith, primary and secondary schools and
offered a whole range of teaching and learning methods, pedagogy and
The tour provided a fascinating and insight into how education is
managed and the blog produced by kieranearley.co.uk, 1st November 2013
is a report collated from input and views from all of the National
Leaders on the tour.
The trip provided a fantastic opportunity to visit 2 countries and the
insight into their education systems was invaluable. Sydney, Melbourne
and Singapore are fantastic places to see and visit.
Please do read the summary blog for our reflections.
At Whitley there are many ideas, that the Principal has brought back
that will improve the learning spaces and teaching strategies for all
On Wednesday 12th June 2013, Miss Vickers & Mr Purslow had the privilege of visiting the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp near to Krakow in Poland; the site is synonymous with the many atrocities which took place there under Nazi persecution of multiple ethnic groups, of which the Jews were the main target of an attempted genocide during the second world war.
The visit is organised annually for teachers to ‘experience’ the history of the site and to attempt an understanding of what took place there so that lessons can be taken away as to why it is so crucial that we teach our young children the spirit of acceptance, celebration not rejection of diversity and an understanding of those who may be different to you. Miss Vickers led the organisation of this visit as the school’s Citizenship coordinator, and liaised with the Holocaust Educational Trust to successfully secure two places for Whitley Academy staff to attend this emotional and humbling day.
Mr Purslow & Miss Vickers will be leading on Holocaust awareness in the school through a variety of schemes; some of which are detailed here:
A programme of study focused on Holocaust awareness for Year 9
Assemblies for whole school
Whole school participation and acknowledgement of Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January annually
Whilst the terrible events of these concentration camps cannot be changed, what can be affected is the way in which we move forward and develop as human beings; as the Rabbi who led a memorial service on Wednesday stated ‘To hate someone who is different to you is to hate yourself’; inscribed on one of the exhibits in the museum were the words ‘The one who does not remember History is bound to live through it again’.
If any parent would like further information regarding this visit or the Academy’s commitment to the development of the Spiritual and Moral education of our students, please do not hesitate to contact either Miss Vickers as the main link for Citizenship or Mr Purslow, Head of Languages and International Studies.