This child was not a refugee (although many in the class were). He was not told to write in this role – in fact, it hadn’t occurred to us, as teachers, that this might be appropriate. In terms of changing attitudes, the six-week topic had worked wonders.

It is perhaps true that the best teaching and learning comes when there is a sustained context for children to learn about, practise, master and apply the skills/concepts being taught. In fact, could context be key? Could children make more progress if the work they did in different subjects was linked by a common theme? There are three key subject areas in the Refugee Boy topic: literacy, geography and PSHCE.

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The topic can also embrace maths and ICT. Crucially, there is a strong and relentless theme about equality and inequality.
The very fact that a 6 week, cross-curricular topic is being taught centred around a text about a refugee begins to help validate the experiences of those who are refugees and change the attitudes of those who may negatively associate the word ‘refugee’.

This project comes complete with:
planning
• lots of support for teachers - PowerPoint presentations,
resource sheets, marking stickers...
samples of children's work
• cross-curricular links

Refugee Boy Production Trailer (West Yorkshire Playhouse - 2013)

"Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay adapted this powerful, startling new play from Benjamin Zephaniah's acclaimed novel, first published in 2001."

Everything is provided electronically to enable teachers to make relevant adaptations for the children/students in their classes.

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