Pupils discover life as an asylum seeker and refugee

Year 8 pupils from Chetwynde School marked Refugee Week by stepping into the shoes of an asylum seeker at the Escape to Safety exhibition.

The exhibition, hosted by Furness Multi-Cultural Community Forum & Youth Club at the Cooke’s Studios in Barrow, took students and staff on a journey to simulate aspects of the modern refugee experience.

It started in their homelands and ended in accommodation in the UK showing how they seek safety from war and persecution.

Pupils wore a headset and held travel documents as they passed through the rooms to help them hear, feel, see and come to understand more about what these journeys can entail.

Sian Huck Head of Humanities at Chetwynde School, which is part of South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust, said it was a very thought-provoking interactive experience and included a citizenship test.

“It was an excellent opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of asylum seekers, to challenge misconceptions and misinformation and to help our communities build connections and welcome for the newly arrived,” she said.

“It was followed a workshop which gave students the opportunity to talk to people with real life experience of such events who live in our community.

“The thoughtful questions students asked during the activities show how this visit has enabled them to reflect upon their own feelings about refugees and the impact of war.”


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