Age 13 to 14 (KS3), Age 14-16 (KS4), Age 16 to 18 (A Level)
Citizenship, History, Religious Education
What to expect
This short video provides information to help teachers prepare for their Holocaust Learning Session at IWM London.
Hello, my name is Clare and I work in the Public Engagement and Learning team at Imperial War Museums. This short film will provide you with all the information you need ahead of your visit to the Holocaust Galleries at Imperial War Museum London.
Before your visit, remember to bring a copy of your confirmation email with you. This will have been sent to the email address you provided on your booking form. Your confirmation email includes an itinerary of your date including your arrival and session times. Before your visit, you may wish to use the free online learning resources that we offer on the Holocaust. From access to our diverse collections to our teachers CPD films, we have resources for both students and teachers to help support their learning. These can all be found on the IWM website at iwm.org.uk/learning.
Your safety is our priority. We have made a number of changes to ensure your visit is safe and enjoyable. We recommend that visitors wear masks indoors where possible – especially in crowded areas and enclosed spaces. Where possible, we ask visitors to keep a reasonable distance from people who are not visiting with you. Hand washing and hand sanitizing will continue to be encouraged and hand sanitizer points are set up in key areas throughout the museum to ensure visitors can wash and sanitize their hands regularly. We have also increased the amount of cleaning that we do especially in our busy visitor areas. We pay special attention to stair handrails, doors, lifts, toilet areas, and any interactive gallery points. You can find all the most up-to-date advice and information on the IWM website at iwm.org.uk.
When you arrive at IWM London, head to the West Entrance of the museum where our team will be there to welcome you. Should you need them, there are accessible visitor toilets available here along with a bag room for your belongings and a lunchroom for you to use at the time specified on your itinerary. Space in this bag room is limited, so we would encourage your students to bring as little luggage as possible. From the West Entrance, you'll be guided through to the atrium. Here you'll see some of the larger objects from our collection on display from the T-34 tank to the iconic Spitfire. Your holocaust learning session will take place in the Taube Learning Centre on Level 2 where there are also more accessible toilets and storage should you need them.
IWM's Holocaust Learning Session has been developed in consultation with secondary schools from across the UK along with subject experts and leaders in the Holocaust education sector from around the world. Commissioned by IWM and in collaboration with our creative partners, including the Bristol-based creative agency Friday Sunday Studio and the Olivier award-winning playwright Stef Smith, IWM's Holocaust Learning Session has been created to support your students as they visit our Holocaust Galleries.
Once everyone is ready, your learning practitioner will start with an introduction session. This introduction session will last for around 30 minutes and will introduce your students to our core learning questions which are: “Why do we still study the Holocaust?” and “Why and how did it happen?” Through the use of innovative digital technology and facilitated discussion with your learning practitioner, this introduction session will provide an opportunity for students to begin their group inquiry into this difficult history and introduce them to the device that will guide them throughout their visit.
Following your introduction session, your learning practitioner will guide your group to the entrance of the Holocaust Galleries located on Level 2 which is the same level as the Taube Learning Centre. This is where your learning practitioner will leave you to explore the galleries and, before they do, they will explain what time they will come to meet you after your visit. Students must be accompanied at all times during your visit and your time in the galleries will take around 90 minutes.
The Holocaust Galleries are divided into chapters and your devices will have clear maps to direct you on where to go and when. The galleries are extensive but please be reassured that your device will guide you through them. There are two access points in the galleries, one to your right at the entrance to the galleries and one around halfway through. These access points include further information to help you with your visit. There is also seating at several points in the galleries too, should you need it.
Given the subject matter, consider your students emotional needs both before and after their visit. Safeguarding is factored in throughout the Holocaust Learning Session to support your students. We have also devised a sensitive content guide for teachers in order to signpost moments in the galleries where graphic content is presented or is presented in close proximity to the route that students will take. We strongly recommend teachers review our sensitive content guide before they visit the museum and ask that you prepare your students appropriately. After your visit, we encourage you to refer back to our sensitive content guide which will include guidance on how to support your students who may have been impacted by what they have seen in the galleries.
Following your visit to the Holocaust Galleries your learning practitioner will be waiting to meet you at the exit of the galleries on Level 2. From there, you'll be guided back to the Taube Learning Centre for a conclusion session and students will be asked to return their device. This conclusion session is essential and provides the opportunity for the learning practitioner to clarify anything your students are unsure of. The conclusion session also offers your students a safe space for discussion and reflection, and they will be encouraged to share their feedback from their visit to the Holocaust Galleries. This conclusion session is an integral part of your learning session and visit.
You may wish to continue your learning after your visit to the Holocaust Galleries with our free online learning resources that we offer on the Holocaust which can all be found on the IWM website at iwm.org.uk/learning. We hope you enjoy your visit and we look forward to welcoming you to IWM London soon.
About The Holocaust Galleries
“As each new generation learns about the Holocaust, there is a risk that the scale of the horror is diminished by the passing of time. I found the new IWM Holocaust Galleries profoundly moving. They tell a story of unimaginable mass murder and suffering through the voices of victims and survivors. The exhibition is humbling, powerful, human and vital.” - Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector
2022 winner of the 'Museum + Heritage' Permanent Exhibition of the Year.
Please note The Holocaust Galleries can only be accessed by schools if they book a Holocaust Learning Session.
About the Holocaust Learning Programme
How and why did the Holocaust happen?
IWM will support students to ask this and other questions about one of the most difficult subjects in human history.
This programme uses new technology to guide pupils through The Holocaust Galleries critically considering why the Holocaust happened, why we still study it and what it means in our world today.
About this session
What was life like for Jewish people before the Second World War? How did Nazi policy escalate to the mass murder of Jewish people? What legacy do you think the Holocaust has today?
Through self-guided and directed study, students will be given space to examine these questions by looking at personal stories and objects in The Holocaust Galleries. They will be encouraged to think about the role of individuals, groups, governments and much more.
The technology is designed to give pupils additional context for the stories they encounter and to create a learning environment that enables conversation about this challenging subject.
At the end of the session, your class will come together in the Taube Family Holocaust Learning Centre to discuss what they have learned and to record a personal reflection about the Holocaust and its legacy.
IWM’s Holocaust learning programme will:
- Prepare students to confidently enter into conversations about the causes, course and consequences of the Holocaust
- Enable students to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding about the causes, course and consequences of the Holocaust and its relationship with the Second World War
- Enable students to develop critical thinking skills about the Holocaust, its impact at the time, and its legacy and significance today
- Provide the opportunity for existing preconceptions and misconceptions to be challenged in a safe environment
- Prepare students to be sensitised to injustice, to develop their consciousness of being a global citizen and empowerment to contribute to social change
National Curriculum Links
- Key Stage 3 History: Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
- Key Stage 4 Edexcel: Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–1939 (Life in Nazi Germany 1933-1939)
- Key Stage 4 OCR: Non-British Depth Study: Germany 1925–1955: The People and the State
“I believe that this learning programme is not just about visiting the exhibition. It’s aiming higher and it should become a part of students’ Holocaust education in the UK.” – Secondary School Teacher, West London
“Their visit to the galleries highlighted the gaps in their knowledge and the gaps in our curriculum in what they know and don’t know, that was new to them.” – Secondary School Teacher, Bristol
“They really enjoyed it, it was a useful trip and they said that it would help them with their GCSE curriculum and coursework” – Secondary School Teacher, South London
Designed by creative agency, Friday Sundae Studio with Olivier award-winning playwright Stef Smith.