Twenty-nine Third Form pupils and four members of staff undertook a five day History study visit to Prague during the February Half Term. Highlights included walking tours of the Old and New Towns, and Lesser Quarter, as well as the magnificent Charles Bridge and the fascinating architecture of the Jewish Quarter. Walking around the city gave pupils a real insight into Prague's different historical periods since its foundation in the 9th Century.
Tickets to the opera and to hear the Skampa Quarter rounded off the evenings, and the cityscape at night was savoured at every opportunity.
A visit to the Church of St Cyril and Methodius drew attention to how Czech and Slovak resistance fighters made a final stage here following their assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the Holocaust.
The group made a particularly poignant journey to Terezin, where we explored the fortresses which had served as a former Gestapo prison and Jewish ghetto in the Second World War. As dusk fell, we stood together at the site of the village of Lidice and reflected on the destruction of that community and its residents by the Nazis as a reprisal for the murder of Heydrich.
The question of whether such an act can ever be justified in the light of the trauma and tragedy that it unleashed was debated by the group. It was this opportunity to learn about and discuss key questions about historical events, whilst standing where those very events had occurred, which left such an impression on all the pupils.