The Thomas Hardye School

Thomas Hardye teacher attends 9th International Conference
on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel.


Hall of names


THS Holocaust and Genocide Education Programme Coordinator, Kevin Matthews, spent the penultimate week of the 2014 summer term at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel.  The conference, much of which was streamed live across the world due to very high interest, saw 400 delegates from over 50 countries engage in discussions and reflections on the future of holocaust education and remembrance.  The title of the conference was, ‘Through our own lens’, and moved day by day through the way the Holocaust has been taught and remembered from the survivors themselves, through to the current digital generations.  Most important of all, was a look at how the Holocaust will be taught and remembered in the future, as well as its relevance to the future.  The conference included some of the most influential Holocaust scholars in the world such as Prof. Yehuda Bauer and Prof.Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. 

The conference coincided with a large exacerbation of the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza, with a rocket attack triggering a short adjournment of the conference in its closing sessions.  This rocket, like the others fired at Jerusalem during the conference, was intercepted by the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ anti ballistics system, meaning that the conference delegates were in far less danger than the people of Gaza.  It was nonetheless a shock to the system for all involved with these rocket attacks on Jerusalem being the first for 20 months.

Kevin Matthews said “There is so much that could be said about the week as a whole it is impossible to know where to begin really.  It was a hugely educational experience for me as not only the HGEP coordinator, a teacher of Theology and Ethics and human rights educator, but also just as a person.  It was certainly a trip I will not forget in a hurry, and a fantastic way to end a very busy year”.

As an IoE Beacon School in Holocaust Education, the Thomas Hardye School is devoted to the teaching and learning of the Holocaust and other genocides for students, staff and the wider community.  In its second year as an IoE Beacon School, the Thomas Hardye School will build on this year’s success stories and make the Holocaust and Genocide Education Programme increasingly more holistic and comprehensive across the key stages.  Conferences like the one at Yad Vashem this summer form a key part of the Holocaust and Genocide Education Programme leadership development. 

Kevin Matthews outside the Holocaust History museum memorial to Janusz Korzak

Tree dedicated to Oskar Schindler Tree of Life memorial

View of Jerusalem from Mount of Olives

Walls in Jerusalem

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