Our Silver DofE expedition last weekend went extremely well, considering the very challenging conditions faced by our pupils. The weather on Friday was pretty bad (rain, rain and more rain) and all of our 17 silver candidates arrived at camp, after a long walk in, soaked to the skin. Nonetheless they persevered and made it through a rather uncomfortable night to a brighter and dryer Saturday morning.
The walk on Saturday was long, arduous and involved going over the summit of Moel Famau, Frith Mountain and circumnavigating Foel Fenelli. This was probably the most challenging day walk that pupils from St.Chad’s have ever attempted during a Silver expedition. The pupils completed it with ease and I gained even more respect for their abilities and positive attitudes. The weather was better too!
On Sunday our pupils were very impressive and organised themselves around camp like a seasoned expeditionary group. They left camp, on their walk to the finish, well before time and again performed flawlessly.
To summarise, the weekend was a great success. To see such lovely young people achieve so much and grow so much, in the face of adversity, is hugely rewarding to witness. All of our staff who help on DofE expeditions and volunteer to give up their free time, are reminded why they do it after assisting on an expedition like this one. A massive thank-you to all of the members of the staff DofE team who have helped this year.
Well done boys and girls and congratulations on passing your expedition, I told you that you are tougher than you realise!
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two and for many of the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust liberation from the various death camps of Europe. On Friday 8th May St Chad’s was lucky enough to have Joanna Millan, a Holocaust survivor, come in to talk to our Year 9 GCSE History students about her experiences, including her liberation from Theresienstadt, a Jewish concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, where she had been from a very young age.
Joanna, real name Bela Rosenthal, shared her amazing story of self-discovery after being adopted by an English Jewish couple after being brought to the UK in 1945 and how at first, for many years, she was told to hide who she really was and what she’d been through. It wasn’t till later in life that she decided to begin the journey to find out her real identity and what had happened to her family.
She discovered that she was born in 1942 in Berlin, Germany. Her father was taken off the street by the Nazis and was never seen again. Bela and her mother were later taken from their home and sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto. In 1944 when Bela was two, her mother died of tuberculosis, leaving Bela orphaned and alone. The women working in the kitchens would take food to the orphans. On 3rd May 1945, the Red Cross took over control of the camp and Bela was liberated by the Russians.
Her story is very poignant and students left the talk with a much better understanding of the human cost of the Holocaust. After the talk, students had the opportunity to ask Joanna questions. Joanna complimented the quality of the questions she was asked and urged our students to appreciate their lives.
Later in the afternoon Caroline Slifkin, from the Holocaust Education Trust, led three one hour workshops with year 9 students, giving them the opportunity to reflect on the survivor’s testimony they had just heard.
During the May half term staff and pupils from St Chads will be visiting the largest of the death camps, Auschwitz.
On behalf of everyone at St Chad’s we would like to thank Joanna for giving up her time to talk to our students and staff and to The Holocaust Educational Trust for helping to organise the day.
Yesterday we attempted to send out login details for our INSIGHT portal, to all parents that we hold a current email address for. Unfortunately the email did not have the link to the INSIGHT parental portal on it, so please note that access to the portal is through the Parents page of this website, using the login details that you were given yesterday. The INSIGHT portal is designed to give you realtime access to attendance, assessment, behaviour and reports for your child.
If you have any problems connecting, please reply to the email that you received yesterday. If you did not receive your login details by email yesterday, it is most likely because we do not have a current email address for you on our records. Please send a note in with your child with a current email address for each parent with parental responsibility, and we will get our records updated, and your login details sent to you. Please send us details of your name, the child(ren)s name(s), their year group, their tutor, and your email address.
Thank you for your support.