The Crocus Project is an international initiative represented locally by the Malta UNESCO Youth Association, which provides an opportunity to introduce school children to the subject of the Holocaust.
This project provided History teacher Mr. Marvic Tonna with a tangible way to stimulate discussion and create awareness on discrimination and prejudice with his Grade 11 History students.
San Anton School was provided with yellow daffodil bulbs which the students planted in the School’s Nature Area. These yellow flowers symbolise the yellow Stars of David that Jews were forced to wear under Nazi rule and were planted in memory of the one and half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust. In Malta daffodils are used instead, due to the fact that crocus plants do not survive locally.
“For me as a History teacher, it is deeply shocking and inconceivable that despite all the documentation and living witnesses who can confirm the horrors committed during the Holocaust, there are still those who would deny it. Therefore I feel the moral duty and the obligation to teach my students, that one of the main purposes of History as a subject, is to remember such events and catastrophes in order to avoid their reoccurrence in the future.” commented Mr. Marvic.
In his effort to expand this initiative across the curriculum, Mr. Marvic then collaborated with Art and Technical Design teachers Ms. Alison Zammit Endrich and Ms. Danielle Sant respectively and the idea of putting up a related Art exhibition was born.
Ms. Alison’s Grade 11 students started working on the exhibition after learning about “Expressionism in Art” in class and conducting research on the German Expressionists. The students were then taught by Ms Alison to use appropriate colour and distorted images to express the horrors of the Holocaust.
Simultaneously Ms. Danielle worked with her Grade 10 Technical Design students to produce “Star of David” shapes to frame the exhibits.
An exhibition consisting of twenty works was set up in the School Foyer and inaugurated last week during morning assembly to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day. This inauguration attended by all the Senior Sector students also provided the History students with an opportunity to present their written work.
Head of School, Dr. Joe Gauci commended this initiative and praised the teachers involved for working together to expose the students to this topic
“Ever since the School’s inception, at San Anton School we have favoured the use of a cross-curricular approach whenever and wherever possible. In connecting and integrating teaching and learning across different subjects, this approach increases depth and breadth to the educational experience of students and effectively prepares them for success in their post-secondary studies and the world of work,” concluded Dr. Gauci.