Allens Croft Primary
When our visiting guest asylum seeker, Bara’a Ismail, visited Allens Croft Primary School during Refugee Week, she was met by 60 Year 5 students all poised to become star newspaper reporters. Class teacher, Melissa Holloway, had listened to Bara’a last year with a Year 6 class and knew the children would get frank and honest answers to their questions:
“Being able to hear the story first-hand gives it a sense of gravity and helps the children to empathise with those who have had a hard struggle.”
Afterwards some of the children said:
“I have never had the chance to speak to a refugee before and listening is important because it helps you understand their struggles.”
“It touched our hearts when she told us she was taken in front of her kids. Her son was about the same age as us.”
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Nelson Mandela Community School‘Echo Eternal’ is a commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project inspired by the testimony of British survivors of the Holocaust recorded in interviews by Natasha Kaplinsky for the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Children across the school had listened to the words of Kurt Taussig, responding through artwork to his plight as he left his home and family as a refugee travelling to Britain. Schools of Sanctuary provided us with the opportunity to build on this learning, ‘connecting’ with today’s refugee children and being active in making sure all children enjoy their rights.
On Friday Year 6 pupils were thrilled to attend a poetry workshop with Vanwy, a poet from Warwick University. The thoughtful and emotive poems written will provide the basis of our school’s performance at the Rights Respecting Schools Celebration event at Birmingham Rep on the 11 July. In addition each year group was provided with a book (recommended from BookTrust.org) to help support empathy with refugee children. Our Rights Rangers chose the simple but poignant story My Name Is Not Refugee by Kate Milner to share with parents at our coffee morning on World Refugee day.