This year for Refugee Week, Year 8 took part in a Writing Workshop in association with the National Literacy Trust. In their English lessons, they looked at three short stories by children’s author Tom Palmer and explored the journeys made by migrant refugees through the 20th century. All tutor groups also looked at a fourth story, set in the 21st century, and informed meaningful discussions across the school.

As the theme for this year’s Refugee Week is ‘Compassion’, the students discussed together the reasons why some people might have to leave their homes in search of safety. The students responded to the stories of hardship and turmoil with great maturity and empathy, expressing often how ‘we are all human’ and deserve a place of safety, no matter where we have come from.

The goal of this week’s workshop was not only to learn about the reality of migrants’ struggles but also to create their own short story. Some students chose to research real refugees, taking inspiration from history to inform their writing. Others used what we had learnt in class about the World Wars or their own knowledge of more recent conflicts or natural disasters. Though some stories surely required a certain suspension of disbelief, the imagination and creativity on display was truly wonderful!

We hope that all those involved in Refugee Week this year have taken to heart the stories they have heard, and we are proud to say that Year 8 have embodied the school’s values of Love and Integrity throughout our discussions.