Refugees focus on weakness

1st November 1996 at 00:00
In a week that has seen heated debate on morality and discipline in our school system, TES staff report on proposals for offering a framework for good behaviour and citizenship to the nation's children.

Streetwise youngsters from Somalia, Bosnia and Vietnam at the Abraham Moss High School in Manchester wouldn't tolerate bad teaching.

The horrors some have confronted in gun battles, concentration camps and boat journeys have given them perspectives which their English classmates will never understand.

For some refugees at the 800-pupil comprehensive where 65 per cent are from ethnic minorities, this is their first experience of school. And according to headteacher David Watchorn these pupils find out teachers' weaknesses fast.

The tough inner-city school has below average GCSE results but provides "a remarkably consistent quality of education," according to OFSTED inspectors who said teaching was of "a high standard in nearly all lessons".

Last year Abraham Moss pupils beat 170 rivals for the first citizenship awards, Celebrating Diversity, set up by The Institute for Citizenship Studies.

The pupils help the 25 physically-disabled children at the school, give up lunch breaks to support Vietnamese speakers reading English and raise money to buy Christmas and Easter hampers for the elderly.

The children raised more than Pounds 200 for a local man after they heard that burglars had raided his home.

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