THIS summer’s holiday saw Family Price head for the hills - a campsite in the Tuscan hills to be precise.

The last time I visited this region was as a 19-year-old ‘interrailer’ on a student travel ticket and frugal budget of less than £15 per day.

Yet again I marvelled at the many pieces of art, the architecture, the literature and the scientific advancements that one small region has given the world. The majesty of the piazzo di campo in Siena and Duomo in Florence simply take a tourist’s breath away.

Interestingly this experience came at a time when we seem to be evaluating our global cultural heritage.

In a recent Modern Studies lesson we focused on how the United Nations organisation supports world peace and we reflected on the role of UNESCO. A pupil had discovered an article about a protest against the building of a highway so close to the Pyramids. We talked about why the UN would want to protect culturally rich sites. Another pupil referred to the cultural vandalism of the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

Pupils were soon able to understand the importance of protecting works of art, architecture and cultural icons.

A pupil raised the issue of the removal of the confederate statues and we explored the various reactions to this in the US. Not surprisingly young people were able to see this as being less about the past than it is the present - people will perhaps object to these statues when their current lives are subject to poverty, disenfranchisement or prejudice. As a class we seemed to agree that the statues should remain - not as a protest but as a learning experience for future generations.

Safeguarding our past means we can perhaps look forward with greater understanding, confidence and vigour.