With the help of funding from the UK-German Connection, 60 German and British students aged between 12 and 19 from Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form and Gesamtschule Konradsdorf, Hessen, Germany participated in a student exchange programme. The title of the programme was Fortress Europe: Are Refugees Welcome? Our year-long joint project gave students the opportunity to learn about the current refugee crisis, which countries refugees and asylum seekers are coming from and why so many millions of people are having to flee their homes. The first part of the Exchange programme took 30 students and staff to Germany, and last week they are visited us here in Norwich.
A range of activities for individuals, whole group and small group work were designed to stimulate curiosity and develop students’ knowledge and understanding of both the human and political sides of this issue. Students interviewed members of the public in Norwich and Covent Garden London to gauge feeling, and have also created questions for local politicians from Norwich City Council and the European Parliament to help them understand the complexities and attitudes of the bodies responsible for making and implementing local decisions. A workshop run by the New Routes Charity in Norwich, which helps refugees and asylum seekers entrusted to our city, provided further information and a more personal and empathetic understanding of what it means to be a refugee. By creating dramas, posters, presentations and using a range of other creative ideas, students shared what they learnt, felt and experienced during the experience.
The project culminated in a Presentation Evening to showcase the fruits of the students’ work and drew together the experiences and learning that had taken place. There were foods from around the world prepared by the families involved to show how the intercultural dialogue of food has been a truly enriching element of our own home culture.
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, Laundry Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 0XS
Main Office - 01603 497711
Student Absence Line - 01603 497722
The Yare Education Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales with company number 10301555. The registered office is at Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, Laundry Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 0XS