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Apr 2017

History Excursion to Auschwitz and Kraków, Poland

Posted by Robert Setchell in 2017

As part of their studies in modern European history, a component of both IGCSE and A level history involves studying the Nazis. To help gain more first-hand experience and to reinforce the lessons taught, students from Levels 1,2,3 and 4 visited the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in southern Poland.

This is the fourth time an excursion from Townshend to Auschwitz has occurred, and like the previous ones, our students and staff were respectful and careful to take the lessons from this dark period in history. Whilst it is obviously tough seeing the violence and depravity of the Nazi regime, it is always an extremely useful reminder of why we teach values and ethics. It is always so good to bring students from such varied backgrounds and ideas to a site like this to show how wrong the Nazis’ ideas of prejudice and racism were.

Following the excursion to Auschwitz, after an overnight stay in a hostel, the students were then taken to experience Polish culture and explore one of Europe’s most beautiful and historic cities: Kraków. The students were given a guided tour of several sites including Wawel Castle, the old Jewish square, and the historic central square of Kraków.

Thanks to the Wenku travel agency for organising the excursion, and thanks to the chaperones (Mr. Palsha, Mrs. Sabri, Dagmar Duncan) and all who participated. It is an intense, long (at least 16 hours of bus riding in 2 days) but ultimately worthwhile trip, and I hope it will widen our students’ knowledge and give them yet more experiences and lessons to take into their futures.

Mar 2017

Trip to United Nations Vienna

Posted by Townshend in 2017

Trip to United Nations Vienna

As we have been studying and analyzing the United Nations, international relations and human rights issues as part of our studies in Grade 9 Civics, Townshend students participated in an interactive human rights tour at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV).  The UNOV is the third largest United Nations headquarters after New York and Geneva.

Townshend Grade 9 civics students not only experienced the world of the United Nations and learned about its work in Vienna and around the world, but also had the opportunity to visit and explore the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), conference rooms, UN translator services and artifacts from peacekeeping humanitarian missions.  After the UN visit, students explored architectural sights, shops and food at the Stephansplatz square and we left with an additional driving tour provided by Martin Polak, our knowledgeable and friendly Townshend bus driver.

(submitted by Mr. Rumi Palsha)

Feb 2017

Cyprus MUN Conference and Peacekeeping Mission

Posted by Rumi Palsha in 2017

Cyprus MUN Conference and Peacekeeping Mission

Townshend Model United Nations (MUN) students are back from the Mediterranean Model United Nations conference hosted at the European University in Nicosia, Cyprus.   Students had the opportunity to seek, through discussion, negotiation, lobbying, speeches, resolution drafting and debate, solutions to the various global challenges facing the United Nations ranging from human rights, natural disaster relief, public health crisis, disarmament, combating piracy, the problems of youth unemployment, maintaining security for journalists, gender violence, combating xenophobia and neo-Nazism, and humanitarian assistance in conflict zones.  The United States Ambassador to Cyprus, Kathleen Doherty and the British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Matthew Kidd delivered inspiring speeches, along with the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.

Townshend MUN delegates also had the opportunity to interact and engage with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) at the buffer zone between Northern Cyprus and Cyprus, which is the longest running international peacekeeping mandate by the United Nations since 1964.  As part of our MUN adventures, we also ventured into North Cyprus, experienced the “old town” of Nicosia and admired flamingos near the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and complex.

Townshend MUN delegates got first-hand experience not only participating in a real-world UN simulation, but also experiencing the real-life UN operations in the field.

Nov 2016

Model United Nations 2016

Posted by Rumi Palsha in 2016

Model United Nations 2016

This year’s Townshend Model Government Europe team kicked off our first conference of the year in Karlovy Vary with Carlsbad International School at the StagMUN 2016 Conference. Townshend and Carlsbad International School organized a joint student-run Model United Nations Conference around the theme of “Trafficking in the 21st Century.” Rosie Mustakova-Possardt, Townshend Under-Secretary General, and Rosie Castro, Townshend Special Committee Chair gave inspiring and thought-provoking speeches to the delegates encouraging them to engage in productive debates to come up with fruitful resolutions related to combating arms, human and drug trafficking. Delegates meet in their committees delivering their opening speeches and engaging in intriguing debates ranging from combating illegal arms control in Ukraine to stopping the flow of narcotic drugs from Afghanistan. The crisis team is working to develop a very fascinating crisis to be integrated into the committees for Day 2 of our conference tomorrow.   To follow along with updates please visit our Townshend Model Government Europe Facebook site.

Nov 2016

History Excursion to Vienna – Origins of World War I

Posted by Robert Setchell in 2016

History Excursion to Vienna - Origins of World War I

On Friday 11th November (conveniently Armistice Day to remember the end of the First World War) Mr Setchell and Mrs Sabri took the AS and A level students of history to Vienna to the Heeresgeschtliches Museum (Museum of Military History).

This museum hosts the military memorabilia from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, which includes the present day Czech Republic as well as 23 other nationalities, as well as Austria since the end of the First World War. The museum is so huge that we managed to only see roughly a quarter of its vast collection, which actually goes back to the Holy Roman Empire and the siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire.

Our focus was the causes and impacts of the First World War, and this is an area for which there can be no better museum to visit. The museum is home to many items that show the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the nineteenth century and the ideas of nationalism and the issues facing the Emperor Franz Josef that led to the Sarajevo crisis that triggered the First World War. Seeing the development of machine guns, aircraft, rifles and artillery all helped the students to understand that the First World War was something different to what had happened before.

The most famous exhibit of the museum is based on the infamous assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand on the 28th June 1914. The museum hosts the very car and uniform of the Archduke on that fateful day, as well as several of the pistols the assassins of the Black Hand gang were equipped with to take those shots. You could see the hole in the bright gold neck collar of the Archduke’s uniform, the hole in the car through which the first bullet then hit his Czech wife, Sophie, and sadly the stains of blood on the blue uniform as he bled to death.  The students were able to see these items which led to one of the most harrowing and impactful events of the world. It certainly brought things home for them.

The students were then also able to see evidence of life in the trenches during the First World War for Austro-Hungarian and Russian soldiers on the various battlefronts and the sheer hell that they had to go through until 1918.  Our tour guide explained how the bright blue uniforms and gold helmets of Imperial Austrian cavalry changed to the dull grey and black uniforms and life in trenches.

We were also able to see Austrian military developments and its incorporation into the Third Reich/Nazi Germany following Anschluss in 1938, important for the level 4 students who study life in Hitler’s Germany and the Holocaust.

Finally after the museum we got some happier sights by visiting a mall in northern Vienna before heading back to Townshend. The students behaviour was again, an impeccable standard, listening with thought and care to the museum and stating how useful the trip will be to their studies in the following months. It is also another fantastic example of how Townshend’s location really is helpful in allowing students to visit places so steeped in history that aid their studies and enrich their understanding in a way that cannot be achieved through photos and classroom learning.

Oct 2016

Level 3 Class Dinner and Bowling

Posted by Robert Setchell in 2016

Level 3 Class Dinner and Bowling

On Wednesday evening 12th October, as a well deserved respite from their studies, the level 3 students went to Ceske Budejovice  for a staple tradition of Townshend and the first of the new academic year:  the class dinner.

The students went 10 pin bowling in the Mercury shopping centre. Experienced veterans of bowling aided those who had never been before and gave encouragement no matter if they actually hit any pins! Support and encouragement were the order of the day with some pretty high scores attained over the hour. After the dinner we went to McDonalds (as befitting a class with Mr Setchell as homeroom teacher) and Kebab in Lannova Street. Enjoying some fun chats and a welcome respite from the studies.

Already students are looking forwards to more class dinners through the year, but for now it has motivated them to keep working so well, and to remember that the friends within the class can help them through the year.

 

 

 

Apr 2017

History Excursion to Auschwitz and Kraków, Poland

Posted by Robert Setchell in 2017

As part of their studies in modern European history, a component of both IGCSE and A level history involves studying the Nazis. To help gain more first-hand experience and to reinforce the lessons taught, students from Levels 1,2,3 and 4 visited the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in southern Poland.

This is the fourth time an excursion from Townshend to Auschwitz has occurred, and like the previous ones, our students and staff were respectful and careful to take the lessons from this dark period in history. Whilst it is obviously tough seeing the violence and depravity of the Nazi regime, it is always an extremely useful reminder of why we teach values and ethics. It is always so good to bring students from such varied backgrounds and ideas to a site like this to show how wrong the Nazis’ ideas of prejudice and racism were.

Following the excursion to Auschwitz, after an overnight stay in a hostel, the students were then taken to experience Polish culture and explore one of Europe’s most beautiful and historic cities: Kraków. The students were given a guided tour of several sites including Wawel Castle, the old Jewish square, and the historic central square of Kraków.

Thanks to the Wenku travel agency for organising the excursion, and thanks to the chaperones (Mr. Palsha, Mrs. Sabri, Dagmar Duncan) and all who participated. It is an intense, long (at least 16 hours of bus riding in 2 days) but ultimately worthwhile trip, and I hope it will widen our students’ knowledge and give them yet more experiences and lessons to take into their futures.

Mar 2017

Trip to United Nations Vienna

Posted by Townshend in 2017

Trip to United Nations Vienna

As we have been studying and analyzing the United Nations, international relations and human rights issues as part of our studies in Grade 9 Civics, Townshend students participated in an interactive human rights tour at the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV).  The UNOV is the third largest United Nations headquarters after New York and Geneva.

Townshend Grade 9 civics students not only experienced the world of the United Nations and learned about its work in Vienna and around the world, but also had the opportunity to visit and explore the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), conference rooms, UN translator services and artifacts from peacekeeping humanitarian missions.  After the UN visit, students explored architectural sights, shops and food at the Stephansplatz square and we left with an additional driving tour provided by Martin Polak, our knowledgeable and friendly Townshend bus driver.

(submitted by Mr. Rumi Palsha)

Feb 2017

Cyprus MUN Conference and Peacekeeping Mission

Posted by Rumi Palsha in 2017

Cyprus MUN Conference and Peacekeeping Mission

Townshend Model United Nations (MUN) students are back from the Mediterranean Model United Nations conference hosted at the European University in Nicosia, Cyprus.   Students had the opportunity to seek, through discussion, negotiation, lobbying, speeches, resolution drafting and debate, solutions to the various global challenges facing the United Nations ranging from human rights, natural disaster relief, public health crisis, disarmament, combating piracy, the problems of youth unemployment, maintaining security for journalists, gender violence, combating xenophobia and neo-Nazism, and humanitarian assistance in conflict zones.  The United States Ambassador to Cyprus, Kathleen Doherty and the British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Matthew Kidd delivered inspiring speeches, along with the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.

Townshend MUN delegates also had the opportunity to interact and engage with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) at the buffer zone between Northern Cyprus and Cyprus, which is the longest running international peacekeeping mandate by the United Nations since 1964.  As part of our MUN adventures, we also ventured into North Cyprus, experienced the “old town” of Nicosia and admired flamingos near the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and complex.

Townshend MUN delegates got first-hand experience not only participating in a real-world UN simulation, but also experiencing the real-life UN operations in the field.

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