More than 1,000 pupils have been invited to participate in a Holocaust Memorial Day programme.

South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue invited more than 1,000 primary and secondary school students in Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham in a programme to encourage and motivate students to respect each other's differences and eliminate discrimination.

Pupils from schools, including Trinity Catholic High School in Woodford Green and Woodbridge High School in Woodford, met Holocaust survivors and children of survivors, as well as adults who escaped to the UK on the kindertransport including Rabbi Harry Jacobi who came to England from Holland following a double escape from the Nazis in 1939 and 1940.

He was one of 74 children saved by one of the Righteous Gentiles, Gertuide Wijsmuller-Meijer, a group of people who risked their lives or their liberty and position to help Jews during the Holocaust, some of whom suffered death as a result.

The children were also shown an exhibition on Jewish life in Europe before the Second World War as compared to how it changed from the late 1930's to after 1945.

One 11-year-old student said: "I didn’t know that people could be so cruel to children of another religion."

Events were held at the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue in Oaks Lane, Newbury Park, this week and two more events will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pupils in years five and six from William Torbitt Primary School in Ilford, Valence Primary School and John Perry Primary School in Dagenham were invited to join the programme.

As well as secondary pupils from years nine, ten and eleven from Trinity Catholic High School in Woodford Green, Woodbridge High School in Woodford, Palmers Catholic Academy, Ursuline Catholic Girls High School and Oaks Park High School in Ilford, Braeside Independent School in Buckhurst Hill, All Saints Catholic High in Dagenham and The Warren School in Romford.