Refugees

14th September 2001 at 01:00
IN SAFE HANDS. A resource and training pack to support work with young refugee children, produced by the Refugee Council and Save the Children. Plymbridge Distributors pound;20

The Government's policy of refugee dispersal has meant teachers suddenly have to respond to children whose needs they may not understand, let alone feel able to address. This pack will help them.

In an easy-to-follow format, it provides information and guidance on how to support children who have experienced conflict and loss, or whose first language is not English. It explains the legal status of refugees and how this affects their lives.

The accompanying video demonstrates how two schools with experience of refugee pupils work with them, and written case studies emphasise the complexity of the problems the children face in and out of school.

Everything is provided for a training session: suggested formats, overhead transparencies, exercise sheets, guidance on when to use the video to illustrate good practice, and case studies. There is a list of further reading, addresses and websites.

The pack stresses the positive impact of refugees on a community: those caring for young children are in unique positions within their communities to dispel myths.

The section on racism is relevant to all schools, whether or not they have refugee children. Much of this pack would be useful as part of any school's curriculum.

Angela Piddock is head of Wilberforce primary school, London borough of Westminster

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