Refugees Crossing

The ‘Who are We’? Programme offered three sets of school workshops, targeted at primary and secondary level. These workshops were offered on Tuesday 14th March; Wednesday 15th March and Friday 17th March.

All school workshops are closed sessions and will run from 10:30 onward, lasting approximately 90 minutes.

Tuesday 14th March: 10:30-12:00 noon

Refugees Crossing: Workshop with artist, Bern O’Donoghue, and Vicky Squire, Warwick University.

Bern: ‘It is in the small and the simple where  human scale may be found, where one mind is changed, and we begin to change the world.’

How do we talk to young children about the refugee crisis at a time when people on the move are viewed with fear and suspicion by their ‘host’ communities? How might we also provide a positive influence and address the inflammatory language that children might hear about migration outside their classroom?

We offered a workshop exploring issues surrounding migration and the power of words to shape perceptionFocusing on developing a culture of tolerance and acceptance in schools and local communities, this workshop sensitively examined identity, values-led thinking and the similarities we share with displaced people.

Touching on citizenship, British values, diversity, and friendship, the workshop investigated how students manage to create a sense of belonging within their peer group and asked how asylum seekers and refugees might do the same in their local area. The session takes time to consider the people behind the statistics as the class works together to construct the Dead Reckoning installation and discuss myths about migration. Following on, each child learns to make origami boats to take away onto which words of welcome for people seeking sanctuary were be added.

The workshop did the following:

  • Raised awareness of human interconnectedness.
  • Promoted an understanding of differences and common humanity.
  • Promoted learning with global perspective.
  • Developed a positive identity among migrants and all students.

This workshop was aimed at children aged between 7 and 11 years. Maximum number of pupils per group: 25