Teaching and learning about refugees and asylum seekers

Teaching and learning about refugees can promote race equality, community cohesion and a greater understanding of the diversity amongst our local population. Care must be taken to create a safe learning environment and have trained, confident staff for the discussion of these issues. Good practice also includes informing and even involving parents and carers in the delivery of this work.

Refugee Week takes place in June each year to coincide with World Refugee Day on 20 June.  The issue of global migration will fit into a range of subjects within the curriculum, including PSHE, geography, history and politics throughout the academic year. Focusing on why people might leave their own countries and arrive in a city like Brighton & Hove is a great way to make the issue real for students.

As well as the resources listed below the following contacts can provide further information and guidance

  • For guidance on developing school practice related to refugee awareness
    Standards and Achievement can help - call (01273) 293533 or email pshe@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • For Information about refugees, asylum seekers and other migrant groups in Brighton & Hove
    email lucy.bryson@brighton-hove.gscx.gov.uk or call (01273) 292572.

Resources for teaching about refugees

The national City of Sanctuary website includes information about how schools around the country have been becoming 'Schools of Sanctuary' and incorporating an understanding of refugee issues into their everyday work.

The national Refugee Week website has a wealth of resources and also information about the Simple Acts campaign.

Salusbury World in  London is a specialist refugee education charity. Their website will also provide resources for teaching about refugees as well as resources for teachers settling refugee children into their classrooms.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has produced an excellent computer game which takes players through the difficulties and dilemmas of fleeing their country and forging a new life.  It is called Against All Odds.

Linked to this is a free educational app to download onto i-phone or android called My Life as a Refugee which encourages users to understand better the plight of refugees. There is a trailer for this app.

Our local Brighton Peace and Environment Centre near the station has materials that teachers can borrow for up to half a term.

Local youth circus theatre project Bandbazi have made a number of films for use in schools: 'Blackheads' deals with the media portrayal of refugees and asylum seekers, award-winning 'Azita' was directed by 18 year old Majid Jafargholi and 'See it, Say it, Stop it' was commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council to raise awareness of racist bullying in schools. It also includes interviews with some young refugees.

Further resources to help combat racism in schools and to encourage the reporting of racist incidents can be found on the Pier2Peer website and also on the Show Racism the Red Card website.