Understanding refugees

IF teachers are daunted by the prospect of working with foreign pupils unable to speak English, and with unknown levels of knowledge, imagine what refugee children feel.

With these thoughts in mind, the National Union of Teachers has produced a booklet offering advice to teachers new to children from refugee families. The DFES-funded publication is based on the outcome of discussions at a symposium held by the union last July, and on the expertise of teachers already working with refugee children.

The booklet lists six guiding principles for teachers: individual class teachers should not have to cope alone; a "can do" approach works best; view refugee children as having to relearn how to learn; remember that they are not responsible for their situation; the host children are central to the solution; teachers may need specific professional development and additional resources.

Relearning to learn is available free from the Education and Equal Opportunities department, NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD, tel: 020 7380 4770.

diane.spencer@tes.co.uk

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