Norfolk Welcomes: a unique opportunity for your school

Friday, 20th April 2018   

A DAY OF ACTION ON DISPLACEMENT IN NORFOLK SCHOOLS

Educators up and down the country are finding that the global refugee crisis has sparked questions, curiosity and concern among their pupils. How best to engage in these complex and important conversations with our pupils is a challenge that we can help you with.

Norfolk Welcomes is a day of action on displacement that engages schoolchildren creatively and critically with the global refugee crisis and local refugee histories (past and present) in order to help them make sense of the world and build more welcoming communities.

Participating in Norfolk Welcomes will help schools fulfil their obligations under the Equality Act. It will also contribute to the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of pupils and the promotion of British Values.

What is Norfolk Welcomes?

We all know that with the right guidance children can benefit enormously from engaging with complex questions. This idea lies at the heart of Norfolk Welcomes, a progressive new initiative that aims to enable pupils in both primary and secondary schools to think ‘beyond the headlines’ about the global refugee crisis.

What are the benefits of getting involved? 

The initiative centres on a special Norfolk Welcomes day, to be held county-wide on Friday 20th April. This event offers schools the opportunity to engage with thought-provoking activities that draw on Norfolk’s rich – and often unacknowledged – history as a place of sanctuary. Our county has a rich history as a place of sanctuary, and the contribution of refugees to its heritage (social, cultural and economic) has been considerable.

What would we need to do?

It’s up to you how your school marks the Norfolk Welcomes day – you might plan a whole day off-curriculum or decide to organise a single dedicated lesson or special assembly; alternatively, you could simply hold a non-uniform day under the Norfolk Welcomes banner (suggested pupil donation of £1, with monies going to help support local refugees or asylum seekers).

Who’s working on this?

Norfolk Welcomes has been initiated by regional members of the City of Sanctuary network, which aims to build welcoming and inclusive communities for refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. Educational resources for the project are being fed into by some of the people behind last year’s acclaimed theatre piece about the history and experience of ‘strangers’ in Norwich, Come Yew In, as well as a team of citizen researchers and working teachers, all coordinated by Jeannette Baxter of Anglia Ruskin University. We are also working alongside Amnesty International on this project and Norfolk Welcomes will kick-off Amnesty International’s Football Welcomes weekend: a nationwide initiative to celebrate the contributions of refugees to the world of football.

Thanks very much for your time. I really hope that you and your school are able to support what we hope will prove an influential project.

Warm regards,

Jake Brown

Project lead for Norfolk Welcomes  (and class teacher at Avenue Junior School, Norwich)

Got questions or want to take part?

Email Jake Brown  info@norwichschoolsofsanctuary.org

You can find more information about the day here.