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Hellesdon High marks Refugee Week

Hellesdon High School pupils and staff helped highlight the 65 million displaced people around the world when they took part in a number of events marking Refugee Week 2018.

A pop-up lunchtime gig featuring moving performances, touching on the theme of home and identity, was enjoyed by a crowd of cheering students.

Performers included Deanna Matthews, 11, Liah Brown, 13, Nelma Lemos, 15, all-girl band The Caravan Club, and the rock band Black Rose.

A small group of Key Stage 3 students joined other schools for an art workshop at The Octagon Chapel, where the children created their own flags around a refuge theme. The flags featured at an art installation for the Norwich Schools of Sanctuary Showcase evening which celebrated this year’s Refugee Week theme – the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. It included original pieces of music, poetry and drama created by Norwich children.

Hellesdon High, part of the Wensum Trust, also invited a guest speaker to hold year-group assemblies. Dr Eiad Zinah spoke about his long journey to the UK, which he had to make in order to escape the violence in Syria.

A series of creative short films and animations was screened in one of the drama classrooms and staff brought in home-baked goods for a bake sale that raised £85 for New Routes Integration. The school will also be running a non-uniform day toward the end of term where further funds will be raised for the same local charity, which works with refugees and asylum-seekers in Norwich.

The week also saw most curriculum subjects focusing on the theme of displacement and how to welcome and support refugees locally. In English lessons younger students wrote poetry to advocate the integration of refugees into our local community and older students analysed the poetry of contemporary refugees from Sudan and Somalia.

PE examined famous athletes, particularly footballers, who are also refugees, to tie in with the World Cup, and in maths students explored the practical budgeting and financial implications of being a refugee in Britain.

English teacher Jess Baker, who organised Refugee Week in school, said: “I feel incredibly proud of the sensitive and empathic work produced by students during Refugee Week. A common phrase produced in the children’s work was that here at Hellesdon ‘refugees are welcome’, which I believe is reflective of our students’ capacity for celebrating our differences”.

The school’s aim for the week was to create awareness among students about why people become refugees, in order to create a greater understanding and to overcome hostility.

Roz Yassin, another key organiser of Refugee Week at the school, said: “We feel that we have succeeded in what we set out to do. Students have responded really well to the lessons and activities and have shown a keen interest in the cause. We want Hellesdon High to be a place where human kindness is instinctive and cultural diversity is celebrated.”

CARAVAN CLUB: Hellesdon High’s all-girls’ band.

 

 

 

UNDER: Black Rose


 

 

 

 


FLAG: the work of 12-year-old Sinduja.

Hellesdon High pupils help with Refugee Week

 

On Tuesday June 19 a performance evening of music, drama and poetry is being held at The Octagon Chapel, Norwich.

The Norwich Schools of Sanctuary Showcase is part of the official programme of events for Norwich’s Refugee Week celebrations and has been organised by Norwich Schools of Sanctuary to raise funds for organisations that support refugees locally and across the world.

The event will also see the launch of the Come Yew In! songbook for schools which includes songs inspired by stories of migration to the city.

Original pieces of music, poetry, art and drama created by school children of Norwich will be performed, alongside music and drama by Norwich International Youth Project and The Common Lot.

Children from Bignold Primary School and Lakenham Junior School have all worked alongside The Common Lot to produce new songs for the event.

While pupils from Avenue Junior School, Ashleigh Primary School, Hellesdon High School and Notre Dame High School will work on the day with local arts facilitators The Friend Ship to create an art installation inspired by this year’s Refugee Week theme – the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees – to decorate the venue.

Preceding the event there will be a free exhibition at Martineau Hall which neighbours The Octagon Chapel. The performance will be from 6.30-8pm and tickets cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

They are available on the door on the night or can be reserved by emailing info@norwichschoolsofsanctuary.org. All money raised will be divided equally between the Friend Ship, Help Refugees, Norwich International Youth Project and New Routes.

Simon Floyd, Director of the The Common Lot, said “We are so proud to have created this songbook and be part of this event. The songs and art on show are inspired by stories of people seeking sanctuary in our city and created by the children and young people of Norwich. All of the work embodies a spirit of welcome. They are made for, with and about people right across the city. They paint pictures of the past, sound a warning, and encourage us to celebrate our similarities and our differences.”