Apply now to take part in the Programme of Visits to Bergen-Belsen in February and March 2020

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About Belsen 75

On April 15th, 1945 British troops of the 11th Armoured Division liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Schools and colleges across the country are invited to join a unique commemorative initiative in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation and be part of this important national moment.

In January 2020, your school/college will receive:

  • Free access to a digital information pack including educational resources and lesson ideas (Y9 and above)
  • Bespoke guidance and materials which will offer ways in which your whole school can mark the anniversary through an event or legacy project in April 2020
  • Information and resources to help ensure that pupils are aware of and understand antisemitism and other forms of intolerance and extremism

Schools and colleges with post-16 provision are also invited to apply now to take part in a Programme of Visits to Bergen-Belsen in February and March 2020 (Y12-13 only)

 

A project delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust and UCL Centre for Holocaust Education, with support from the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, and funded by the Department for Education.

Programme of Visits

As part of Belsen 75, your school can apply to take part in a four-part course designed to provide young people with the opportunity to reflect upon the significance of Bergen-Belsen, its liberation, and its continuing legacy, and to explore the individual stories of those who experienced the site first hand. All four parts of the course are compulsory for the two selected students and accompanying teacher. You will also receive access to a comprehensive information pack and educational resources for your entire school in January 2020.

How to apply

1. Pre-visit seminar

Learn about the historical context of Bergen-Belsen in relation to the Holocaust through testimony and archive material and prepare for the visit.

2. The visit

Join a one day visit to Bergen-Belsen in Germany where groups will tour the former camp, memorial and exhibition.

3. Reflections and Legacy seminar

Reflect on the visit and start to think about how you will share your experience through a Legacy Project.

4. Legacy Project

Design and carry out a Legacy Project to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

Upcoming courses

Every state-funded school, college or sixth form in England is eligible to apply for two students (Y12-13 only) and one teacher to take part in the Programme of Visits. Places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

  • North London

    from London Stansted Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 2nd Feb 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Tue 4th Feb 2020 Visit
    Sun 9th Feb 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 15th Mar 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • Midlands

    from Birmingham Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 9th Feb 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Wed 12th Feb 2020 Visit
    Sun 23rd Feb 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 5th Apr 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • South West

    from Exeter Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 23rd Feb 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Thu 27th Feb 2020 Visit
    Sun 8th Mar 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 19th Apr 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • South East/London South

    from London Gatwick Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 1st Mar 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Wed 4th Mar 2020 Visit
    Sun 15th Mar 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 26th Apr 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • North West

    from Manchester Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 8th Mar 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Thu 12th Mar 2020 Visit
    Sun 22nd Mar 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 3rd May 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • Thames Valley & Chilterns/Eastern

    from London Stansted Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 15th Mar 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Wed 18th Mar 2020 Visit
    Sun 29th Mar 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 10th May 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline
  • Yorkshire & Humber/North East

    from Leeds Bradford Airport

    Tue 31st Dec 2019 Application deadline
    Sun 22nd Mar 2020 Pre-visit Seminar
    Wed 25th Mar 2020 Visit
    Sun 29th Mar 2020 Reflections and Legacy Seminar
    Sun 10th May 2020 Legacy Project submission deadline

Please note

The cost is £40 per participant (£120 total) – this fee covers all course materials as well as the flights to and from Germany for the day visit.

Find out which Local Education Authorities fall under each course. These may differ from the Trust’s Lessons From Auschwitz courses, so please check details carefully.

If your application is successful, you will receive:

  • A step-by-step guide to your school’s participation
  • An invoice and details of our preferred payment method – BACS
  • Seminar and Visit Risk Assessments
  • Travel Subsidy Form
  • Essential trip information (seminar venue, dates, times and deadlines)

Please visit our Important Information page for more details.

Important Information about the Programme of Visits

    Who is the Belsen 75 Programme of Visits open to?

    Every state-funded school, college or sixth form in England is eligible to apply for two 16-18 year old students in post-16 education and one teacher to take part in the visit. The students can be studying any subject and be from any ethnic or religious background.

    Spaces are limited and if oversubscribed we may not be able to offer places to your school/college.

     

    Choosing two students

    We recommend that students be considered regardless of what subjects they may be studying. The Belsen 75 Programme of Visits is not strictly a History course, though some prior knowledge of World War Two and the Holocaust would be useful. It is however mandatory that the students chosen to participate are between the ages of 16-18 years old and studying at A-Level or equivalent.

    We encourage careful consideration of the emotional maturity and wellbeing of the students you choose. The subject of Belsen inevitably involves some very challenging content and discussions of extremes of human behaviour and suffering. We do not include needless graphic imagery in our materials, however the substance of the study – both relating to the history of Bergen-Belsen and contemporary antisemitism and other forms of hatred – is complex and can be uncomfortable.

    Furthermore, when making your choice it is essential that your students can work together as a team. Students should feel comfortable interacting with students and teachers from other schools, as we will be travelling together and working in groups at the seminars and on the visit.

    It is also important to stress to all interested students that the Belsen 75 Project is a four-part course, and that completion of all parts is compulsory. By participating on the course, they make a commitment to work together to complete a Legacy Project in their schools and/or communities, on their return. Students’ capacity to complete this requirement in a meaningful way should be a criterion that you factor into your decision. Finally, we are delighted to invite two students and one teacher to take part in the Programme of Visits and Seminars – only those schools who can ensure the participation of three individuals (two students and one teacher) will be allocated places.

     

    Requirements

    All participants on the Belsen 75 Programme of Visits are required to have a valid passport for the visit to Germany. Participants with a non-UK or non-EU passport should contact the German Embassy for visa requirements.

    Our primary method of contact with coordinating teachers and participants is via email. Coordinating teachers and students must provide a valid email address where they can be directly contacted by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

    Coordinating Teachers

    Upon completing the application form, coordinating teachers are agreeing to become the point of contact within the school and with the Trust, for the duration of the course.

    Coordinating teachers must ensure that they select one teacher (if they are not the participating teacher) and two students who are able to commit to all four components of the course and ensure that all participants complete the registration process within the relevant deadlines. They are responsible for ensuring students receive all information and materials about participation in the Belsen 75 Programme of Visits and should support the students both before and after their visit to Germany.

    Coordinating teachers are responsible for informing the school, parent/guardian and Local Education Authority of the student’s participation on the course. They are also required to oversee and support the students as they undertake their Legacy Project.

    Participating Students

    Chosen participants must be able to part in all four components of the course. If a student fails to attend the Pre-Visit Seminar both students will not be permitted to take part in the visit to Germany. Failure by either student to attend the Reflection and Legacy Seminar may affect future engagement with the Trust.

    Participating students must ensure that they complete their online registration forms and return signed copies to the Trust. For health and safety reasons, students will be unable to participate on the course if these forms are not completed, signed and an electronic copy returned to the Trust by the deadline provided.

    Participating Teachers

    Participating teachers are required to attend both seminars and the visit. Participating teachers must ensure that they complete their online registration forms and return an electronically signed copy to the Trust. For health and safety reasons, teachers will be unable to participate on the course if these forms are not completed, signed and an electronic copy returned to the Trust by the deadline provided.

    Teacher training on the Programme of Visits

    In addition to accompanying their students through the seminars and on the visit, and developing their own subject knowledge, participating teachers will take part in specific continuing professional development (CPD) activities.  These will involve examining the principles for teaching about the Holocaust, and discussing aspects of commemoration and memorialisation both in historical sites and back in the classroom.

    Cost and payment

    The project is heavily subsidised, keeping the cost at only £40 per participant. This ensures nobody is excluded from participation, all we ask is that participants fully commit themselves to all four stages of the course.

    The course fee covers all materials, both seminars and the visit to Bergen-Belsen including flights and travel insurance.

    The £40 fee does not include transportation to and from the seminars and the UK airport, or any accommodation that may be required for any part of the project.

    Some schools/colleges provide funds for their students and teachers, whilst others ask participants to pay or to raise the funds themselves.

    Travel subsidies are available; please see our Travel Subsidy FAQ for more information.

    If you withdraw within the week of the course beginning you will forfeit the full cost per participant.

    If you withdraw more than a week before the course starts, you will forfeit 50% of the cost per participant.

    Schools will receive an invoice and payment details following confirmation of their application.

    Travel subsidy

    We aim to make the Belsen 75 Project, including the Programme of Visits, as financially accessible as possible, in the hope that no student should be denied the opportunity to participate because they cannot afford it. The cost of participation on the course is heavily subsidised. This includes return flights to Germany from a regional airport, two seminar sessions led by our trained educators and all printed and online materials and resources.

    However, we recognise that some participants may incur additional expenses. Most commonly, these expenses include travel to and from seminars and airports and, in certain instances, overnight accommodation near airports.

    Limited funding is available to help offset these costs to those schools which demonstrate a need for additional financial assistance.

    All travel subsidy payments are contingent on both participants attending all Belsen 75 Project sessions including the Pre-Visit Seminar, visit to Germany and Reflections and Legacy Seminar. Failure of either participant to attend all of these sessions will result in the forfeit of the school’s entire travel subsidy. Absence for valid medical reasons, when documented by a doctor’s note, may be considered acceptable.

    The Travel Subsidy Application Forms must be completed by the coordinating teacher, and not by individual participants. The Travel Subsidy Application Form asks you to estimate in advance the anticipated extra costs you are likely to incur. Whilst it may not be possible to obtain precise totals in advance of expenditure, it is important that you carefully research the projected costs so your estimate is as accurate as is possible. Failure to do so may result in the Travel Subsidy Application being declined.

    Local Education Authorities and corresponding courses

    London North – Stansted Airport

    Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Brent, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hertfordshire, Hillingdon, Islington, City of London, Luton, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Westminster

    Midlands – Birmingham International Airport

    Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Derbyshire, Dudley, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire

    South West – Exeter Airport

    Bath and North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Torbay, Wiltshire

    South East/London South – London Gatwick Airport

    Bexley, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, Bromley, Croydon, East Sussex, Greenwich, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hampshire, Hounslow, Isle of Wight, Kensington& Chelsea, Kent, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Medway Towns, Merton, Portsmouth, Richmond upon Thames, Slough, Southampton, Southwark, Surrey, Sutton, Wandsworth, West Sussex, Windsor & Maidenhead

    North West – Manchester Airport

    Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, Halton, Knowsley, Lancashire, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St. Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral

    Thames Valley & Chilterns/Eastern – Stansted Airport

    Bedford, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Essex, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Peterborough, Reading, Southend-on-Sea, Suffolk, Swindon, Thurrock, West Berkshire, Wokingham

    Yorkshire & Humber/North East – Leeds Bradford International Airport

    Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Cumbria, Darlington, Doncaster, Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull, Kirklees, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Tyneside, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, Rotherham, Sheffield, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland, Wakefield, York

    Students with additional needs

    It is our aim that this project is open and accessible to students of all backgrounds regardless of ability, disability, gender or ethnic background.

    Procedures and Provisions

    Information regarding Special Educational Needs will be highlighted via the coordinating teacher. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that these details are passed on to the Trust staff. If there is a necessity for any clarification then contact will be made by the Trust staff with the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). An allocated member of the Trust will talk through each part of the course in detail with the coordinating teacher to ascertain if there is any part of the project which will require extra provision for the student.

    Discussions will be had with the coordinating teacher and other members of the schools staff, those who are best placed to advise on their students’ special educational needs, to establish what provisions are required.

    If necessary discussions may need to take place with specialist teachers and LA Advisory Service Staff.

    Possible considerations are:

    • The use of videos, PowerPoint presentations and handouts at the seminar, and whether these are fully accessible to hearing- and visually-impaired students.
    • Extensive walking and travel on the one day visit to Germany, with limited accessibility at the museums and sites visited.
    • The sensitive nature and subject of the project.
    • Group discussions regarding the project and the student’s individual thoughts, expectations and reflections.

    It will also be discussed and decided upon who will be best placed to provide this provision, be it the school, their Local Education Authority (LEA) or the Trust, to ensure correct and adequate provision is provided.

    Specific consideration will be given and, when necessary, additional teacher places allocated to enable them to support their students. The Trust will work alongside coordinating teachers to accommodate the needs of the pupils as much as possible and to support special provisions in line with those usually made by the school. Through discussions with the school, the LEA and the Trust it will be ascertained on an individual basis who will be best placed to ensure correct and adequate provision.

    The educators for those particular students will be informed, detailing what extra provision and considerations are needed if this is deemed appropriate.

    As a health and safety precaution a qualified medical technician accompanies the group on the one day visit to Germany and provides support and expertise if and when it is needed. The Trust will also be happy to consider seeking external expertise and support, such as the use of a sign language interpreter, if it was felt to be educationally beneficial to students.

    Disability Access

    All seminar venues will have disabled access and we will provide the necessary arrangements to cater for participants with disabilities. Please contact the Trust directly to discuss such needs.

    For more information about accessibility at Bergen-Belsen memorial please visit their website here.

     

    Health and Safety

    Risk Assessments

    All participants will be provided with risk assessments for the seminars and visit in advance of the course, following confirmation of places.

    Travel Insurance

    The Holocaust Educational Trust takes out travel insurance for each participant going on the visit to Germany. Copies of this policy will be available on request shortly before the visit.

    Please be aware that the policy excludes any claims or expenses arising directly or indirectly from any medical condition for which medical advice or treatment has been given during the 12 months prior to the visit. Please be aware that there is a £50 excess on all claims with this insurance policy.

    European Health Insurance Card

    It is strongly advised for all participants to have an EHIC and to inform the Trust of the Personal Identification Number of the card. If participants do not already have an EHIC they should apply for one before the visit to Germany. Participants can apply for a card online at www.ehic.org.uk. They are free of charge; please note they can take up to a week to be delivered.

    If participants do not hold an EU Passport but have been granted residency in the UK they are still entitled to an EHIC, however they will need to apply by post. Application forms can be obtained from the Post Office. With application forms they will need to include a photocopy of their UK visa or a copy of the letter from the Home Office granting them residency in the UK. Please be aware that applications by post will take longer than 7 days so please ensure participants apply as soon as possible.

    The Belsen 75 Project team will inform all participants if the relevance of the EHIC changes following Brexit.

    Travel

    Travel times and flight details will be provided to all participants, coordinating teachers and participating schools prior to the course.

    Travel and tour arrangements are managed and organised by Peltours Group. Peltours are a well-established travel company and are ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) protected, number 1886 and a fully bonded member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), number V7117. Coaches and their drivers are certified to current German standards. A full and independent risk assessment has been carried out for coach travel within Germany on behalf of Peltours Group.

    In the event of travel delays, resulting in the need for overnight accommodation, group accommodation will be organised by the tour operators and all parents or guardians will be contacted immediately. Please see accident and emergency procedures below for more detail. For the flight to Germany, Peltours Group will charter a plane for the group so there will be no cause for concern regarding the cancellations of flights.

    Travel to and from the seminars and UK airports is the responsibility of the participants and at their individual expense. However, provision will be made for participants if flight delays result in late arrival back to the UK and travel by public transport is no longer possible.

    Accident and Emergency Procedures

    A number of precautions and measures have been put in place for accident and emergency procedures.

    Whilst completing application forms, participants are asked for all dietary and medical conditions, next of kin, passport and emergency contact details. These details are kept with the group leaders at all times during the visit. The Trust has the facilities to call, email and send text messages to all participants’ next of kin immediately should they need to. All participating schools must nominate a coordinating teacher who is contactable throughout the duration of the visit.

    A full contingency plan has also been drawn up by our tour operators, Peltours Group, to be used in the event of a major incident. Peltours Group is a professional and well established company which has vast experience of writing and implementing major incident plans. If needed, the major incident plan would be carried out by a dedicated and experienced team from Peltours alongside close liaison with Trust staff.

    The plan will also cover any major unforeseen events resulting in major changes to the itinerary including the need for accommodation in Poland as a result of travel delay.

    ATOL and ABTA Numbers

    Our ATOL number is 1886

    Our ABTA number is V7117

    Levels of Supervision

    There are a number of adults on all parts of the course, including a number of teachers, Holocaust Educational Trust trained educators and members of the Holocaust Educational Trust staff team all supervising the participants.

    Participants are organised into groups of approximately 25 and are accompanied by a Trust educator and a local German guide. The groups will also include at least ten teachers participating in the course. Additional logistical staff and a fully trained medical technician will be on hand throughout the day to support the group.

    During the visits there are two groups per coach and each coach has a local German speaking guide who has a thorough knowledge and experience of the visit and the local area.

    Belsen 75 Project staff

    The Belsen 75 Programme of Visits will be led by leading Holocaust experts from the Trust and UCL.  They will be joined by educators from the formal and informal education sector experienced in site based learning. The educators are fully trained to deliver the interactive and sensitive Belsen 75 Programme to sixth form students.

    Each Belsen 75 Course will be assigned a coordinating member of Trust staff who will act as the point of contact for the school throughout the application process right through to the submission of the Legacy Project. The educators will be supported at both seminars and during each visit by Trust facilitators who will ensure, where possible, the smooth running of the visit and will act as liaison between all project staff.

    All project staff are DBS checked and cleared.

    Project staff will be fully briefed prior to the event. All staff will have a clear and full understanding of their roles and responsibilities, the itinerary and emergency procedures.

    Each educator and facilitator on the trip will be provided with an event pack for their use during the project. This pack will include:

    • Participant lists including their school details
    • Dietary and medical requirements of all participants
    • Itinerary details
    • Flight details
    • Contact details for all project staff in Germany
    • Contact details for Trust staff in the UK
    • Incident report and procedures form

    Each participant and their school will be provided with a detailed project pack which will include:

    • Flight details with check-in procedures for the day
    • Emergency contact details
    • Check list including clothing and footwear suggestions

     

    Belsen 75 Information Pack - digital resources your entire school can use

    A comprehensive digital information pack will be available electronically from January 2020. Schools across England will have free access to educational resources, testimony and innovative lesson plans with a Y9 focus, regardless of whether they have participated in the site based component of the Programme of Visits. The information pack will support teachers to ensure their students have a robust understanding of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, the context of this event within the history of the Holocaust, and the complexities of British responses to the Holocaust.

    A significant proportion of the Information Pack will be designed to support head teachers, heads of year and teachers working on whole-school approaches. Bespoke guidance and materials will suggest ways in which schools can mark the anniversary through a commemorative event in April 2020, or perpetuate a lasting memory of the liberation through legacy projects.

Application form