Venture students give up their Easter holidays for more learning

During the Easter holidays, 77 students from Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston took part in a school trip to Berlin and Krakow to learn more about the Second World War, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the culture of Germany and Poland. 

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The trip was action packed throughout with a wide variety of activities planned for each day. The whole trip led to the students walking more than 56 miles in five days.

The first activity was a walking tour of Berlin. Students saw some fascinating sights and learnt a great deal about Germany’s history. Students then had the opportunity to visit the East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery consisting of murals painted directly on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Art and photography students in particular took lots of inspiration from the murals on display.

The second day started with the group having an hour in the DDR Museum before it opened to the public. The DDR Museum shows what life was like in East Germany and is an extremely interesting and interactive learning experience. Other activities for the day included a visit to the Berlin Memorial, a visit to Checkpoint Charlie, and a visit to the TV Tower, where the students could view Berlin from 203m high.

The group then travelled overnight by coach to Krakow in Poland. Students paid a visit to Schindler’s Factory, the scene of the inspiration for the film Schindler’s List, took a tour around the city’s Jewish Quarter, and took a tour of the Galicia Museum, which culminated in hearing the fascinating story of holocaust survivor Monika Goldwasser.

Whilst in Krakow, the group had an opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and learn about the horrors of the Holocaust. Students found it difficult to describe their thoughts upon visiting the camps but all found the experience incredibly moving.

Overall, the trip was a resounding success. The academy looks forward to running the trip again in a few years’ time with another group of students to ensure we keep the important lessons of our past alive for the next generation.

Dave Richards, Assistant Principal of Ormiston Venture Academy and trip leader, said:

"It was a privilege to take this group of wonderful students away to allow them to learn so much about this period by witnessing locations and hearing tales and stories in a much more direct manner than we can ever manage in the classroom. The response from them was that it had inspired future travel and an increased interest in this period of history, and you can’t really ask for any more than that."