SCHOOLCHILDREN have been learning lessons of the past from some special visitors.
As part of their GCSE studies on issues relating to prejudice, discrimination and persecution, students at Biddick School Sports College welcomed some guests into their classroom.
One of the visitors was Holocaust survivor Sylvia Hurst, who was on one of the last children’s transport trains of the Second World War, and who now lives in the North East.
She has written a book, Laugh or Cry, about her childhood in the years during which Hitler came to power.
Mark Anderson, leader of learning at Biddick School, said: “Sylvia spoke movingly with students of her memories and experiences, the death of both parents under the Nazis, and her eventual escape to the UK.”
Also invited into the Wearside school were Sunderland AFC legend Gary Bennett and former Newcastle United FC footballer Olivier Bernard.
They were there as part of the Show Racism the Red Card campaign, and workshops were held with the Year 10 and 11 pupils.
Mr Anderson said: “Everyone is strongly influenced by his or her understanding of the past.
“Listening to personal testimonies and stories is an invaluable way of enabling our students to appreciate the past and, through it, come to a far more critical awareness of the present.
“Studying the stories and situations of visitors such as Sylvia, Gary and Olivier, allows our students to test their own moral sense, to hone it against some of the real challenges people have faced in difficult settings.”
Mr Anderson added: “People who have weathered adversity and danger, not just in some work of fiction but in real, historical circumstances, undoubtedly provides inspiration.”