We are required to deliver this unit as part of our R.E. and Citizenship syllabus Aim:- to raise awareness of what constitutes a community: how individuals and groups can become refugees: International Law concerning refugees the thoughts and feelings of refugees; how individuals, local, national and international groups can and should respond to refugees Unit was delivered in 7 sessions of 65 – 70 minutes to Year 8 students (aged 12 – 13).
We explored idea of community from the school, the local and the international perspective. We discussed and recorded definitions of key terms, signs of belonging, rights and responsibilities of belonging to a community. Students were asked, for homework, to interview two adults (relatives or neighbours) about their responsibilities of belonging to a group. Session 1
We discussed reasons why people might become refugees and then asked the students, working in small groups, to imagine that they had become refugees and to agree a list of ten items that they felt were important to take with them. After feedback we shared with them images of Haitians and what they “grabbed” as the earthquake destroyed their homes. Session 2
In the same groups as last session we used “Time to flee” role play exercise (from text book Global Communities: Learning about Refugee Issues). We needed to carefully time the 10 minutes allowed for the family to make the decision and leave for them to have sense of urgency. Took initial feedback on their decisions then teacher adopts role of border official who decides whether they can cross the border as a refugee. Session 3
Again, in groups, introduce role play exercise on the right to asylum and International Laws governing the right to asylum (from text book Global Communities page 34 - 37). Each group given 2 scenarios where they have to take on the role of UNHCR Protection Officers and reach a decision using international law to guide them. Feedback is taken, where each group reports back their decision and give reason(s) for decisions made. Teacher has actual decision which is shared at the end of the activity. Session 4
In this session we looked at the experience of young refugees on UK using many of the poems in Global Communities text book pages 92 – 94. We also used the We Refugees poem (shared with us all at the conference in Italy). We explored the hopes and dreams of those who are granted asylum. Students were asked to produce their own poem about refugees (see examples on blog and printed copies). Session 5
We looked at some of the student poems and discussed some of the issues raised in them. After an introduction to the refugee issue surrounding Afghanistan students viewed the film “In this World”. As it is rated a 15 we had to select areas “to be cut”. We decided to only “cut” the animal sacrifice scene. To cut more would be to diminish the impact of the film. Opportunities were provided for students to ask questions after key scenes in the film and at the end of the viewing. Students were totally involved with the characters and the situations they found themselves in on their hazardous journey to London. Session 6 and 7
To add extra sessions looking at the contribution of refugees to the UK and International Communities Possible move the creative writing task to the end of the unit and expand to include the production of a piece of art Future developments
I’m Sorry I’m sorry I couldn’t stay home I’m sorry I walk this earth I’m sorry I stand on your ground I didn’t ask for any of this Why can’t you leave me alone and let me be free? What would you feel like if you had to flee? Shannon Beercroft Age 13 Selection of Student Poems
Refugee Yes, I’m a different colour Yes I’m from another country But no you shouldn’t treat Me like this
I may speak with a different accent I may be a Muslim But I’m still a human being
I AM a different colour I AM from another country I DO speak with a different accent and I AM a Muslim But it shouldn’t bother you Abi Bly Age 12
Terrified I’m all alone In a foreign country With no one to fix it or help me out
My Mum can’t love me She’s passed away My Dad can’t stand up for me He’s stuck in a far away land.
And yet here I am here by myself, with no one to hold me and no possessions to.
I want to be in my country back with my Dad and family but there is war where I live it’s not safe for me anymore.
I am a refugee, a stranger in this new land, I am a refugee All alone by myself. Arran Cairns Age 13
Refugee Acrostic R is for religion, would they accept me because I have a different religion to them E is for education, my education was good back there but what would it be like here, would I learn more or less F is for fear, would I make friends, would I keep in touch with my family U is for understanding, would they understand what horrific things had happened to me G is for gutted, I’m gutted that I had to leave everything at home E is for emotion, would they feel all of my mixed emotions
Chloe Taylor Age 13
My window I stand and look out my bedroom window hoping I can see you again someday I remember the pictures in my mind the pictures of you, the pictures of war I see the way you use to hold my hand and tell me we’d be together in the end I now have a home, somewhere to stay I now have an education, somewhere to learn Today I think I’ll see you walking up the path to my house But you don’t You never ever do So I stand and look out my bedroom window Hoping I can see you again someday Georgia Bloomfield Age 13
Refugee Where’s my child? Where’s my home? Where’s the place I use to know? Was it far? Was it near? How can a city disappear?
Will I be the only survivor lost in this world A sea of burning fire Will I be the only one? Oh dear God What have they done? Romy Fowler Age 13
Refugee Haikus I just want to live Wouldn’t you feel the same? If you have no choice. Neighbouring countries No longer want our presence Therefore we must leave. Our home is no more Just a battlefield of greed Why must life be cruel? I want to go back home, My heart longing for safety Then we shall return. Beth Alvery Age 13
Refugee I flee from my home, I’ve nowhere to go Away from my father I wonder how much further. I flee from my home I’ve nowhere to go Far from my mother I’m sure she loved us. I flee from my home I’ve nowhere to go Miles from my sister I very much miss her. I flee from my home I’ve nowhere to go Close to my brothers With only blankets for cover. I flee from my home I’ve nowhere to go I’m a refugee Who will ever help me? Sam Scott Age 13
The child of dreaming There once was a child Living wild and free But a racist, corrupt government put an end to that happily. They made him scared and afraid He ended up on the run He knew he had to escape Or else he’d never see the sun. His parents paid a smuggler To get him safely through Across the border illegally To get where he needed to be. He ended up in the UK He knew he was a refugee Alone, frightened and afraid That little child was me. Ashley Garrod Age 13
Refugee poem I want to go back Back to my home Where I can play with my friends And where I’m not alone. I want to see my daddy, I haven’t seen him in a while My Mummy said to ring him So numbers I will dial. When I left with Mummy She said I wouldn’t understand Why we had to leave Daddy But I want to hold his hand. I want my old room back My new one’s not the same And the wallpapers lame. I rang Daddy loads But no one answered the phone I told Mummy and she started crying. Years have passed And I never heard from my Dad My Mum told me why I hadn’t This was extremely bad. I now know why we left All those years ago My Mum and I were refugees And to heaven my Dad will go. Gaby Morrison Age 13