A CLACKS school has become one of a few in Scotland to be receive the highest recognition for embedding Holocaust education into the curriculum.

Alva Academy has been given Level 2 Vision School for Holocaust Education status in a programme run by the Holocaust Educational Trust in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland.

The award was recently handed over to the secondary school, just in time for Holocaust Memorial Day last Thursday, January 27.

It is understood Alva is but the fourth school in Scotland to achieve Level 2 status in the programme and the first to achieve both levels in a short time period.

Indeed, the school was first recognised with a Level 1 award in 2020 for demonstrating innovation and good practice and was the first to achieve the status in the Forth Valley.

Teacher David Clifford, who has for years been involved in marking not just Holocaust Memorial Day but also other important dates in the annual calendar, told the Advertiser: “To have achieved the highest accolade of Level 2 status as a Vision School for Holocaust Education is both an honour and a proud moment for Alva Academy.

“The work put in by our Holocaust Team every year is extraordinary, but to achieve this award only one year after achieving Level 1 and to do it during the most tumultuous year online is nothing short of phenomenal.

“As lead teachers for Holocaust education, Gillian Freeland [FPT social subjects]and myself feel privileged to be involved in what we believe is the most important topic any pupil will ever study.”

Over the course of last week, the school broadcast specially composed tannoys which combined aspects of music, history as well as religious, moral and philosophical studies.

At the heart of all Holocaust learning are themes of citizenship, equality, respect and history and interdisciplinary approaches had been developed, which saw different subject teachers working together.

The academy's Holocaust learning videos have had more than 50,000 views over the past three years but the work has been ongoing for much longer.

For the past decade, the school has been showcasing pupil work and delivered performances of poetry, music and dance – culminating in an annual evening of remembrance featuring more than 300 learners.

Proud headteacher Scott McEwan added: “The team of teachers and young people have worked extremely hard developing a strategy that delivers the most important topic of work in our curriculum.

"What other topic gives us the opportunity to show young people what happens when you do not challenge hatred, do not stand up to the aggressor?"