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You can find facts and figures on our Facts and Figures page.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions of useful resources to add by emailing [email protected]

We are in the process of updating our resource pack. For the most up to date guidance on applying for recognition as a School of Sanctuary, please review this document.  

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.

Schools of Sanctuary Resource Pack

For a hard copy of the resource pack, please complete our order form

Schools of Sanctuary Resources

There are useful audit tools, a template action plan and example portfolio on the Education Authority Northern Ireland Schools of Sanctuary page

Schools of Sanctuary Audit / Self assessment Tool– a useful and adaptable tool for action planning and portfolio building, with thanks to Fiona Ranson, of Tees Valley of Sanctuary (with schools practitioners’ input including Diana Dabrowska-Gorska of Wolverhampton Schools Improvement Services) – here as a Word doc file

Schools of Sanctuary Evaluation Criteria (a printable / editable version of the evaluation found in the pack)

Oxfam Education: (Youth Ambassadors) Schools of Sanctuary Action Guides

Schools of Sanctuary Action Guide

Schools of Sanctuary Teacher Notes

Schools of Sanctuary Workshop Plan

School of Sanctuary Presentation

Refugee quotations Handout

There are examples of things Schools of Sanctuary have done throughout the resource pack. 

You can also visit our Home page to see news of new Schools of Sanctuary being awarded and the Schools of Sanctuary in Action page for some examples of what schools have been up to.

Supporting children seeking sanctuary

The Open School Doors (OSD) development programme is designed to support schools (leaders, teachers and support staff) to build knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by newly arrived families and develop new ways of working that help bridge the divide between schools and local communities and impact positively on the lives of young people and their families.  

Welcoming Refugee Children into Your School: A National Education Union Teaching Resource. which provides practical suggestions for teachers to create refugee friendly classrooms. It includes help and support, ideas for induction and utilising the skills of other children. There are also sections on creating a climate in which refugee children feel welcomed and valued, how to make the curriculum accessible and classroom organisation.

Council of Europe handbook ‘How to convey child-friendly information to children in migration’ (2018)

Equity Education Education for All – online website that can teach A-level Chemistry via videos and downloadable booklets. 

‘Migrants and Refugees in Education: A toolkit for teachers’ – a free online course from Future Learn 

An awareness  blog from Nola Ellen with suggestions for schools on how to make child refugees welcome

Another blog from Nola Ellen on empowering young refugee students. 

Refugee Access to Early Childhood Education and Care in the UK – a report published by the University of Cambridge and Erasmus+ (2018)

Information from the Bell Foundation, including on the rights and entitlements of refugees and steps schools can take to be welcoming

A guide to good practice – supporting the education of asylum seeking and refugee children (DFES 2004) can be downloaded here

An Australian website which details a set of strategies for dealing with some of the common behaviours of refugee children in the classroom. Foundation House can be found here

‘Beyond the School Gates’: – A report from Refugee Council on supporting refugees and asylum-seekers in secondary school (2008)

‘Hand in Hand’: a resource pack from Refugee Council to help meet the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers in secondary schools (2008)

New Arrivals Excellence Programme: Guidance and resources for meeting the needs of new arrivals in Primary and Secondary schools. (2007 DCSF) The PDF can be downloaded here

‘Working with refugee children’ – a resource from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation (2003)

Admission and Induction

Guidance on welcome, admission, induction and peer support for asylum seeking and refugee children from NALDIC can be seen here

The Hertfordshire Grid for Learning gives advice on admission, induction and planning for newly arrived pupils and can be found here

A free online tool by South East Grid for Learning (SEGfL) which can be used by schools to support the induction of newly arrived pupils. It is currently translated into 17 languages and can be found here

Legal Issues

Coram Children’s Legal Centre provide legal advice and deliver the Migrant Children’s Project.  See their fact sheets on Education and also their updated guide, “Seeking Support: a guide to the rights and entitlements of separated children” providing comprehensive, practical advice to professionals on how to work with unaccompanied or separated children and young people and ensure they access the support and protection they need. It includes a chapter on access to education, including further and higher education.

Information about Children Seeking Sanctuary and Education

An article from the Guardian considering the differences in the ways unaccompanied minors are treated in the education systems in the UK and Sweden (Feb 2018)

‘The Education of Asylum-seeker and Refugee Children’ – A study from the University of Cambridge on LEA and school values, policies and practices (2005)

Inviting a refugee speaker into your school can be a very powerful way to learn about refugee issues. You can contact your local City of Sanctuary group to ask whether they could help you arrange this. 

Our page on Awareness raising for groups has some guidance about supporting refugee speakers and some resources to help prepare a talk. 


Welcoming a Refugee Visitor (a resource from the Employability Forum and London Councils 2011)

Refugee Awareness Talks for Schools from Social Enterprise Nola Ellen Training

My Bright Kite school programmes

Let Us Learn

Let us Learn is a group of young migrants, who are proud to call the UK home.

It is our ambition that all migrants should have the chance to contribute fully to British society.

We aim to inspire other young people to take a lead in their schools and communities, and can offer practical support and training.

Teaching Resources

There are lots more resources on Art, Books, Films, Plays and Songs on our Art Stream site.

Refugee Week

Educational Resources from the Refugee Week website

Raising awareness in Refugee Week – A selection of the top lesson and activity ideas from TES for Refugee Week (primary and secondary).

See also this article from a primary school teacher packed with examples and curriculum ideas for Refugee Week.

Teaching Resources on Refugees

Visit our Arts pages for links to artists and art works around refugees. 

The Doc Society Forced Migration Toolkit contains links to clips and activities from 15 mins to 1 hour which can be used in schools. 

Channel four’s ‘Two Billion Miles’ interactive video, sharing stories of refugee and migrant journeys with teaching resources can be downloaded here.

Guardian Guide to Teaching Resources – including ideas for Primary and Secondary school pupils and links to other helpful organisations.

My Bright Kite classroom resource pack ‘Lessons of Hope’ is available to buy via their website and includes a lesson plan, educational resources and more. 

My Bright Kite also have school programmes which incorporate assemblies, storytelling, talks and workshops.

An article from the Big Issue about using Paddington as part of a lesson plan on refugees – with a link to the lesson plan

UNICEF– Forced to flee Children on the move an education pack for UK schools that was published in 2016 and which helps teachers to explore with children and young people at school the growing levels of displacement around the world. 

All you need for a refugee assembly (resource created by Reading International Solidarity Centre)

Teaching Resources from British Red Cross and the Red Cross Positive Images Toolkit 

Teaching Resources from Amnesty International

Christian Aid – A Safe Place to Call Home – ideas for Assemblies, classroom activities and downloadable resources for a relevant Ludo game. The game raises excellent discussion and a printed version is available free from Christian Aid – suitable for ages 9 upwards.

Operation Refugee Child Factsheet (Mar 2016) – This useful fact-sheet has updated information about the current refugee crisis with colour graphics, charts and pictures.

Traces Project – multimedia learning activities – Traces Project is the first digital timeline to tell the untold history of arts and culture contributions by people who have sought safety in the UK from conflict and persecution.  Design and Art, Music, Visual Arts, Writing, Multi-media, Performance, Writing and Live Arts learning activities from CounterPoint Arts supported by the UNHCR.

Asylum Seekers and Refugee Quiz from Refugee Week

‘Sami’s Candle’ activity book by Rhian Voyce and ‘Boats to Freedom’ artworks

Three School Lesson plans from Manchester with PowerPoint resources – thanks to David Few

Teaching Resources on Migration and Diversity

Moving Here:  Offers free access, to an online catalogue of original material related to migration history, over the last 200 years, from local, regional and national archives, libraries and museums.

Education in a Diverse UK – educational pack for schools produced by the Migrant Help, awarded the ACT Quality Mark for Citizenship Teaching Resources

‘Many Rivers Crossed: Britain’s attitudes to race and immigration 50 years since ‘Rivers of Blood’ – a report from British Future (Apr 2018) which includes a School of Sanctuary in Wolverhampton as an example.

Zimbabwe Association Twelve Years Project Teachers Packs and Resources for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4

Play and Learn Arabic – a free resource from eduTechnoz.   Online games, which teach children Arabic in a fun way.

Play against all odd – The Web Facts of Against All Odds are designed to provide more information about the activities in the online game. Each section contains fact sheets, profiles, videos, or other interesting links about refugees.

Other Teaching Resources

Family Learning in ESOL free website resources Working with adults and children together is a well established model and may be appropriate in a Schools of Sanctuary or community or home context.  For more information on what Family Learning in ESOL is and a contact for support please click here.

Contact your local City of Sanctuary group to learn about any local refugee organisations that you could get involved with eg. collecting food for a destitution charity, creating welcome postcards to give to a resettlement project or charity working with new arrivals or holding a fundraising event. 

Refugee Week

Project Paddington : A Sheffield based project engaging children to send teddy bears to refugee children – with resources.

Contact your local Development Education Centre for resources, workshops and training on a range of topics including climate change, fair trade and human rights

Global Dimension is a useful platform bringing together resources case studies and background information to help teachers and other educators bring a global dimension to their work. Resources can be searched for under topic (for example migration and refugees, human rights, peace and conflict et cetera) and by age range and whole school.

9780750299855‘Refugee Boy’ resource pack As part of their production of ‘Refugee Boy,’ the West Yorkshire Playhouse has put together a resource pack with information and resources for schools.

An article from the Big Issue about using Paddington as part of a lesson plan on refugees – with a link to the lesson plan

Have a look at this list of books and novels on refugee and asylum seeker issues (from Refugee Council Australia). Scroll down for children’s books.

A downloadable book list to encourage younger readers- please send us more suggestions.

A film The Right to Safety is a Human Right‘ researched, scripted and presented by children from Hearts and Hopes social action project

‘Finding a voice’ – Films created by Samia Malik’s ‘Finding a Voice’ – a Heritage Lottery funded year long multimedia DVD project working with new young arrivals to Norfolk, launched at The Garage Theatre in Norwich 2009. Film 1, Film 2, Film 3, Film 4, Film 5

“Blue Moment” film and training notes – A 45 minute refugee film drama, Blue Moment, about a young African Muslim woman seeking asylum in the UK today . Based on real case studies, it can be followed by a discussion of any issues raised in the film (safeguarding & rape, homelessness, race relations, mental health).   We think it would be very suitable for showing to young people over 15 in schools or other settings as a focus for educational debate.

Review of film Ms Kiet’s Children – A documentary about migrant children nursing trauma and forging friendships under the guidance of a kindly teacher.

Animated stories from refugee children Seeking Refuge animation clips, from the BBC with a useful Teachers’ Guide.

Refugee Council’s Children’s Section – three short animations featuring child refugees sharing their stories in their own words (not all of these animations are suitable for younger children).

I am just like you.  A 3 minute film for 2016 Refugee Week dedicated to the many children and young people fleeing their homes in search of safety. Ideal for secondary schools.  Here are the words to the rap  I am just like you.

One World to Share – a song for Primary children for Refugee Week and beyond.  See the video here.

Singing Out! is a collection of 12 uplifting pop songs to encourage children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning (SMSC), PSHE and RE.

‘As Free As a Bird’ musical and ‘One World to Share’ song – Resources to stage a musical about refugees or perform a relevant song.

Short film about how the power of singing together enables children of all cultures and faiths to come together to celebrate key life affirming values.