Supporting refugee students

Finding the Right Time and Place: Exploring post-compulsory education and training pathways for young people from refugee backgrounds in NSW (RCOA)

This report brings together evidence of good practice in the provision of education and training that meet the needs of refugee young people (16-24 years) who settle in Australia with a history of disrupted education.

Humanitarian entrants in New South Wales: A resource for New South Wales government agencies (RCOA) 

Funded by the Community Relations Commission of NSW, this resource is designed to assist people working for NSW government agencies to understand and meet the needs of asylum seekers and people from refugee backgrounds settling in NSW. It provides information on Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, settlement trends in NSW, typical experiences of people fleeing persecution and support services available to humanitarian entrants. The resources also includes a glossary, a directory of relevant support services in NSW and a chart detailing the entitlements of humanitarian entrants by visa subclass.

Learning Beyond the Bell resources (Centre for Multicultural Youth)

Learning Beyond the Bell assists homework programs to provide high quality tuition and learning support to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. The Learning Beyond the Bell team has developed a range of resources to assist organisations and schools to set up and run a homework club.

Refugee Young People and Resettlement (Centre for Multicultural Youth)

This information sheet provides an overview of some of the common experiences refugee young people face in resettling in Australia. It describes the journey refugees make from their country of origin to Australia – from the refugee experience, flight and time spent in refugee camps, to the pressures young people face in negotiating their new life in Australia.

School’s In for Refugees: A whole-school approach to supporting students of refugee background (Foundation House)

This comprehensive report includes background information about understanding the refugee experience and the impact of trauma on learning, development and wellbeing to support those who work in and with schools, as well as case studies, professional learning activities, templates and tools for teachers to use in their work, to assist planning and change processes in a school environment.

Good Practice Principles: Guide for working with refugee young people (Victorian Settlement Planning Committee)

The Good Practice Principles Guide is designed to assist agencies and services with limited experience in working with refugee young people. It can help to ensure that services are responsive to refugee young people and assist in planning services, formulating policies and/or allocating resources.

Lesson plans 

Australian Human Rights Commission

The AHRC’s Human Rights Examples for the Australian Curriculum resource identifies opportunities within the Australian Curriculum for students to learn about human rights issues. It covers the curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 in the key learning areas of English, History, Geography, Science and Maths.

Edmund Rice Centre

The Edmund Rice Centre’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource includes 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school.

Global Education

The Global Education website contains a range of resources to encourage a global perspective across curricula, including this lesson plan on refugees.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Originally designed as a complement to MSF’s “Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City” exhibition, these lesson plans are designed to provide students with an introduction to refugee and displacement issues. Topics covered include the reasons for flight, shelter, food and malnutrition, water and sanitation and building awareness of refugee issues.

Racism. No Way!

The “Racism. No Way!” project aims to assist Australian school communities and education systems to recognise and address racism in the learning environment. The project website has a huge range of lesson plans and student worksheets ready for download on racism, prejudice, cultural diversity, identity, language, migration and refugees.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UNHCR has developed lesson modules for three different age groups that will help teachers introduce refugee issues into the curriculum in a range of subject areas, including art, geography, history, civic education and language and literature.

Games and activities

“Border Control” role play (Amnesty International Australia)

This role-playing activity simulates an encounter between refugees and immigration officers.

“Time to Flee” activity (Amnesty International Australia)

This activity asks students to imagine themselves in the situation of a family at risk of persecution and to think about the decisions they would have to make if they had to flee their country.

“The Great Escape” board game (Amnesty International UK)

This downloadable board game simulates the challenges refugees face when attempting to escape from their country.

Balloon Game (Student Action for Refugees, UK)

This game uses the challenge of simultaneously juggling five balloons to encourage students to simulate the challenges refugees face when settling in a new country.

“Against All Odds” online game (UNHCR)

http://www.playagainstallodds.ca/teachersupervision/us/index.html (teacher resources)
This online simulation game for secondary students follows a young person’s flight from oppression in their home country to exile in a country of asylum. There is a teacher’s guide with suggested lessons plans to accompany every level of the game.

Other resources

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Resources for teachers

Roads to Refuge

Go Back to Where You Came From (SBS)

UNHCR Lego posters

These posters use Lego minifigures to challenge some of the negative stereotypes of refugees. UNHCR has also produced a teachers’ guide on using the posters in the classroom.

UNHCR photo galleries

UNHCR’s photo galleries contain an extensive array of photographs dating back to 2002, focusing on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and stateless people around the world. The photos are free to use so long as the source is credited.

UNHCR videos

UNHCR’s YouTube channel contains a large collection of videos on refugee situations around the world.