Pupils' unforgettable experiences

SCHOOL pupils got the chance to enjoy some unique opportunities on a European school trip.

Year 10 and 11 students from St Hild's C of E School, in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, visited a prisoner concentration camp and the European Parliament during a trip to France and Belgium.

The students of history, French and citizenship at the school also witnessed the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony, which takes place every night in Ieper, in Belgium.

Cath Hurst, a history teacher at the school, joined the students on the trip and said the experiences will stay with the youngsters forever.

She said: "It was a fantastic three days.

"We visited the prisoner concentration camp of Fort Breendonk, which was a transit camp on route to the death camp of Auschwtiz.

"It's somewhere that most people have never heard of, but it was fascinating.

"It not only brought history to life, but gave it a different slant and was a comparison for those who had gone to Auschwitz with us a couple of years ago.

"The tour guide was superb and the pupils were absorbed by his tales of what the Jews and political prisoners had to deal with on route to Auschwitz."

Thanks to the help of North-East MEP Martin Callanan and his assistant, Mary Toward, the youngsters also enjoyed a tour around the European Parliament.

Miss Hurst added: "The students were given a presentation on how the Parliament works and were made aware of how it impacts on the UK.

"The students had an excellent time and were a credit to their school."