About this resource

This pack focuses on asylum, approaching the issue from global and UK perspectives. It encourages students to draw parallels with their own lives. Many of the activities build on an empathetic understanding of situations to develop
knowledge and skills for approaching the subject of asylum. Pupils are encouraged to expand their understanding beyond themselves: to think globally and to think about human rights.

The pack is designed to approach the issue of asylum in a way that is accessible and appropriate to primary school children. The materials and activities can be used in stand-alone lessons or in projects to encourage students to make
connections between different areas of learnings.

The activities enable young people to learn independently and as part of a group, and to develop their creativity, teamwork and ability to apply their learning in new and challenging contexts.

They contribute towards developing the ethos and life of the school as a community by developing young people’s understanding of values and promoting respectful and positive relationships. The activities support the strengthening of
students’ abilities to develop informed ethical views of complex issues.

Age range

Each of the activities is designed to be used by children aged 7-11. However, it is also possible to adapt some of the activities for a younger or older age group.

Aims of the pack
To give students:
  • A clear understanding of the key terms and facts about refugees and asylum
  • Empathy with issues facing asylum seekers and refugees;
  • Awareness of the ways people are interconnected across the world;
  • Understanding of some of the causes of refugee movements;
  • Knowledge of the myths and stereotypes surrounding asylum seekers and
    refugees and the ability to develop their own responses; 
  • An introduction to human rights and the right to seek asylum in particular.

Refugees in the classroom

There may be staff or pupils at school who are refugees and the topic needs to be approached in a way that safeguards their wellbeing and self-esteem. It may be difficult for a refugee to talk about traumatic experiences; they may have
fears about returning home or being seen as ‘different’. While personal experiences can enrich debate, teachers should be aware of the difficult emotions colleagues and pupils might face in such situations.

Sensitive issues

Talking about human rights and refugees can seem complex and not relevant for discussion by primary school children. However, children face the basic issues of fairness, prejudice, conflict-resolution and human choice and action every day
through relationships with their peers. The aim of this pack is to develop these concepts and relate them to the issue of asylum.

Children are exposed to negative myths around refugees and asylum seekers and may have come into contact with refugee issues directly or through a friend. Through open discussion and structured activities, children can explore these
issues in the safety of the classroom environment.

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