Engaging young people in the discussion around the ongoing refugee crisis can be a difficult task for UK teachers and one in which they can feel unprepared or lacking in resources. In order to help facilitate discussion, whilst remaining aware of the sensitivities of the subject, the London Grid for Learning has developed Real Voices, a cross- curricular resource for Key Stages 3 and 4 suitable for use in art, citizenship, geography, history and R.E.
Filmed by tve, (a registered charity founded by the United Nations Environment Programme, WWF-UK, and Central Television) on behalf of the DEC Syria Appeal, Real Voices focuses on the experiences of three Syrian refugees Mahmoud Mohammed al-Masri, Um Jamal and Zainab Ali Al Soudi, all of whom are currently living in Jordan. In a series of short interviews they each speak about their experiences of having to leave their home, their journey to safety and life in a refugee camp.
The resource gives students an understanding of the war in Syria, the plight of people fleeing the conflict and the tools they need to take action. Students will study the background to the conflict in Syria, looking at how it started and the various factions involved. They will learn what a refugee is and examine their own assumptions of what this word means and also explore what it would be like to be a refugee.
The activities in this resource are mapped to the National Curriculum for KS3 geography. Links can also be made to History, Art and Design, and Citizenship. Whilst the resource was written for KS3 and 4 it would also be appropriate for upper KS2.
Bob Usher, Content Manager at the London Grid for learning commented on the creation of the resource; “The London Grid for Learning were keen to work with tve and the DEC Syria Appeal to bring what we felt to be an extremely important resource to UK classrooms. With so much conflict across Syria and other parts of the Middle East it’s important that our young people understand the issues and consequences of such conflict on ordinary people. The ability of young people to develop their own informed opinion on complex global topics through the use of a trusted source, seems to be more important than ever”.
Real Voices is available for all LGfL and TRUSTnet connected schools and can be accessed via realvoicesinfo.lgfl.net