*City of Sanctuary UK prefers to use the term people seeking sanctuary in most contexts as this focusses on people first and foremost, as opposed to their immigration status. For further explanation and other examples of preferred terms, see our Guide to Use of Language and our Definitions page.
It’s also always good to start with the up-to-date facts and figures. Have a look at the Facts page for suggested resources and sources of data.
Teaching Toolkits and Resources
UNHCR – Teaching about Refugees Resources
This page contains a collection of UNHCR teaching materials on refugees, asylum and migration for primary and secondary education, as well as some guidance for teachers working with refugee children in the classroom.
UNICEF – In Search of Safety and Forced to Flee Teaching Packs
Teaching packs and associated resources suitable for older primary-age and secondary students. In Search of Safety looks at the impact of growing levels of displacement in the European context whilst Forced to Flee has a more global outlook.
Red Cross – Resources for Learning about Refugees and Migration
A variety of lesson plans and activities on different themes and categorised by age-appropriacy. We particularly recommend Migration to Britain: Crossing the Channel and Refugees: Welcome for secondary students.
The Walk: Education and Activity Pack
A comprehensive activity pack developed to accompany the Little Amal project in 2021 with a focus on the arts. Organised by different themes (Home, Migration, Climate, Fear, Adventure, Welcome) and ages (5-7, 7-11, 11-16) and including teacher’s notes.
OXFAM – Stand with Refugees
Powerpoint and teaching ideas to support learners to strengthen their enquiry skills, think critically about why some people are forced to flee, and develop empathy for others. Suitable for ages 7-14.
Amnesty International – Learning About Refugee Rights
Session plans and activity ideas to support students to understand what refugee, asylum seeker and migrant mean, to reflect and empathise with the experience of refugees and to recognise how they can act in solidarity with refugees. Differentiated by ages (7-11, 11-14) and using real-life case studies.
Their World: Education Unlocks Support for Refugees
Resource pack including thought-provoking activities for those aged 7-11 and 11-16 to explore the impacts of being forced to flee home on the lives and education of young people.
Our Migration Story
A wealth of resources, lesson plans and teaching advice for exploring migration histories from the past two thousand years. Including focuses on Jewish migration, Black migration, the Huguenots, Gypsy, Roma Traveller migration, Irish migrants and plenty more.
Assemblies about People Seeking Sanctuary
UNICEF – Rights Respecting School Assemblies
Assembly guidance for primary schools. Assemblies 2 and 3 are about migration themes and assembly 16 is for World Refugee Day.
UNICEF – 21 Assemblies for Primary Schools
A selection of suggested assemblies for internationally recognised celebration days, including World Refugee Day.
Reading International Solidarity Centre – All You Need for a Refugee Assembly
Comprehensive guidance for developing an assembly about forced displacement for any age.
Christian Aid – Far From Home School Assembly
Suitable for primary ages, a ready-to-use assembly with faith links.
Assemblies.org.uk – A Long, Hard Journey
A powerpoint and guidance for conducting an assembly for primary-ages on welcoming refugees (in school). With Christian faith links.
Books From or About People Seeking Sanctuary
City of Sanctuary UK’s Book List
A full list of books from or about people seeking sanctuary divided by age appropriacy.
Teaching Resources to Accompany Books about People Seeking Sanctuary
Resources to accompany the graphic novel Alpha, helping students aged 14+ to explore the characters, storyline and issues around the refugee crisis.
The Bone Sparrow (Zana Fraillon)
An activity pack from Amnesty International to support students aged 12+ to explore the characters, storyline and issues in this book, including refugees, human rights abuses, courage, freedom and protest.
Refugee Boy (Benjamin Zephaniah)
Teaching notes from Amnesty International to help lower secondary students explore the themes of rights of freedom, equality, asylum, protection by law, and the right to food, clothing, housing and health care.
Boy, Everywhere (A.M.Dassu)
Teacher’s Guide from the publisher, Lee & Low Books to explore the themes addressed in the novel, suitable for students aged 11-14.
Films and Documentaries
Into Film – Refugee Week Films & Activities
This resource contains a guide to five films, which have been specially selected to be accessible to learners within the 5-19 age range. The guides include discussion questions and activity ideas to encourage learners to ask and answer questions and reflect on why people seek sanctuary in other countries.
UNHCR – Seven Videos to Change the Way You See Refugees
A selection of videos that put viewers in the shoes of people seeking sanctuary. Excellent to start class discussions and reflections. Advisable to view for age appropriacy before showing to students.
Risky Things – Blue Moment and Seeking Asylum
A longer and shorter film about the experiences of two people seeking asylum and their journey through the asylum process. Blue Moment is accompanied by teaching/training notes. Only suitable for older teens.
BBC – Seeking Refugee
A BAFTA award winning collection of animations telling the different journeys of children seeking sanctuary, told by the children themselves. Accompanied by teaching notes.