The ‘Refugee and Asylum Seeker' unit is aimed at giving students the opportunity for deep and real learning.
On Wednesday, the Year 6 students were immersed into the life of a refugee, experiencing first-hand the challenges that refugees confront on a daily basis. The day’s activities were aimed at developing within the students a genuine sense of empathy for those who find themselves forced into the life of a refugee.
Underpinning the day was a chance for students to share the refugee shelters they have been working on over the past nine weeks. At the start of the term, the students were asked to design a state-of-the-art refugee shelter that would meet the basic human needs of those forced to live in them. Working in groups, the students produced designs that considered water catchment and storage, temperature control and renewable energy solutions. Design elements relating to the transportation, as well as the construction and portability, of the design also needed to be considered.
A former refugee Moshtagh Heidrani, who arrived in Australia only five years ago, spoke to the students about his experiences as a refugee, life in a refugee camp as well as the gratitude he has for Australia. He spoke with passion to the students about not taking anything for granted and the value education should play in their lives. It was wonderful for students to hear first-hand of his experiences.
The remainder of the day saw students involved in a range of activities, including an online simulation game in which students were forced to flee Australia as a refugee. A collaborative art activity that asked the students to consider the rights of ‘the child’, and an initiative challenge that placed the students into a variety of scenarios a refugee may encounter as they flee their homeland to seek a better life.
It was a valuable day for all involved and the students need to be congratulated for their efforts.
Lori Ruplal, Claire Deretic and Ryan Healy
Year 6 Teachers