Krakow trip Years 12 & 13

As January exams came to a close there was no rest for our Year 12 and 13 History, Art and Psychology students as we travelled to Krakow. First up on the itinerary was a visit to Auschwitz Birkenau, which as you can imagine was an intense visit for our students as they came face to face with the consequences of uninhibited prejudice and discrimination within Nazi society. They were able to hear about the ways in which the Nazis organised the camp and some of the individual tragedies that took place there on a mass scale. Many of the students found this deeply moving and they valued the opportunity to gain a greater insight into one of the most shocking events of the 20th Century. In an effort to lighten the mood slightly students then embarked on a visit to Wagel Castle in the heart of Krakow where we learnt about the various inhabitants and valuable artwork and artefacts contained within. The students finished the day with a walking tour of the Historical centre of Krakow, taking in the Jewish Quarter where key scenes of the film Schindler’s List were filmed.

Students followed this up with an informative visit to Schindler’s factory where they learnt of the realities of Schindler’s story and the Jewish experience within Nazi occupied Poland during WWII. Switching focus, we went to explore the Museum of Contemporary Art, where the students were able to engage with and discuss a variety of thought provoking pieces which ranged from the purely abstract to the politically potent. They also had a chance to explore one of the largest salt mines in Europe. Heading 135 metres below ground, students were able to see a magnificent cathedral which stands as testament to the country’s strong catholic beliefs and traditions.

The mix of historic, artistic and religious sites and the psychology behind them ensured a deeply rewarding experience for all involved.