Searching for a Solution
Henry Beaufort students discuss current issues with representatives from Israel and Palestine as part of an investigation into the ongoing conflict.
Gone is the time when school was all about simply reading the textbook and accepting what was in there. Today’s students are encouraged to read more widely and to form their own, independent and balanced judgements on issues. Students at Henry Beaufort, who are learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recently had the chance to hear the views of, and quiz, representatives of both sides using the latest video-conferencing technology.
As the final part of the GCSE project, ‘Searching for a Solution’, Humanities teacher Ben Lovett arranged for Amjad Taha, a speaker from Palestine, and Naira Antoun from the Council for Arab-British Understanding, to visit the school and give their perspective on the struggle. Via a video conference link, the Israeli view was given by Robin Hamilton-Taylor of their embassy in London, and by Eli Hatchwell, a Beaufort parent with Israeli roots. They were quizzed by students who had developed their list of questions based on their study of the historical and geographical context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The idea for the project was sparked by poems written by students in Henry Beaufort’s link school on the West Bank, Khaleel Al Rahman. As Ben Lovett says, “We have a number of international links and projects like this which allow students to engage with real people and real issues, all around the world.”
Over the coming weeks, students will round off the project by responding to what they have learned with written reports, picture collages, paintings and poems focussing on themes such as Jerusalem, settlements, water, refugees, peace and security.
“It was great to hear from a wide range of perspectives,” said Poppy Trewhella, one of the students involved in the project “and more exciting to get them firsthand from people with personal experience."
To replay the conferences between Year 10 and Mr. Hamilton-Taylor from the Israeli Embassy and Eli Hatchwell, click on the following links and select “Go to replay”. Use the fast-forward button to skip the sound tests at the beginning or jump to any position of the hour-long conference.