Year 6's moving visit to the Jewish Museum

On Monday 24th February, Year 6 visited the Jewish Museum in Camden to bring to life some of the learning we have been doing this term about World War 2. During the morning, we looked at a couple of powerful and highly emotive paintings by Hans Jackson, which taught us a great deal about the atmosphere in Germany in the years leading up to the outbreak of war. Then, one half of the class went to visit the Judaism Gallery while the other had an object-handling workshop, before swapping. In the object-handling workshop we heard the incredible story of a non-Jewish family who agreed a bury a box of special items in their garden belonging to their Jewish neighbour, Gertrude, for safekeeping during the war. Nearly half a century after the war, Gertrude’s sons went to Germany to visit their childhood home and learned from their neighbour – who was still alive – about this box. One of the objects in the box was a beautiful old besamim holder, which we all had the opportunity to handle.

 After lunch, we had the honour and privilege to hear from Elsa, a remarkable lady from Berlin who was on the Kindertransport. Elsa shared her story with us, and afterwards the children had the opportunity to ask her questions. Some of the children’s questions were so thoughtful and poignant, and in response to one of the questions Elsa shared with us some of the letters she wrote to her parents during the war, which she has kept to this very day.

 All in all, it was a trip that will live long in the memory. The children were exceptionally well behaved and their contributions and questions were brilliant, leading the workshop coordinator to comment that our school is one of the best schools she has ever worked with – so well done to Year 6!


 Matt Smerin

Deputy Head Teacher