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3 Festivals for 2024


“We read a book written by refugees. Empathy means to feel sorry and help someone. It is important to help refugees.” Margna, Year 6

Our most exciting initiative over the past year was to test what would happen if we used our Lexis stories in local primary schools. We felt that the stories would help promote a greater understanding of and empathy for refugees and asylum seekers among the children.

The project was launched in 2020, together with Derby College and the Education Department at the University of Derby. In the event only Borrow Wood Primary School in Spondon was able to run the programme before the first lockdown. In addition to working with the books, the children met one of the Lexis students, who came into the school to read her story. Although the project was cut short, the results were very positive.

We were delighted when Borrow Wood agreed to run the programme again in March 2021. The stories were used from Year 1 to Year 6, to help the children get back into school life. A second school, Ashwood Spencer Academy in Allenton, ran a small pilot programme in the Summer term with their Year 6 pupils, with very positive results.

You can watch a film of the Borrow Wood children talking about what they learnt from the project below.

Some Feedback on the project so far…

- “I’m really proud of what the children have learnt. For me, it has been the best project I have done at Borrow Wood.” Zoe Fletcher, Head, Borrow Wood

- “Empathy is a difficult concept for younger children, but I feel that the project has given our children a good understanding of what the word itself means and helped them to understand how refugees might feel.” Helen, Year 2 teacher, Borrow Wood

- “The children enjoyed listening to the stories and having the opportunity to ask questions to a real person was invaluable. Our pupils do not often to see people from other areas of life, so this was a fantastic activity Liz, Year 6 teacher, Ashwood Spencer, (after the virtual visit to the school by Lexis students Abdullah Hamid and Janelle Frosthagen).

- “It helps that the students are in Derby as this makes it more real to the children. It was also great to see one of the illustrators was a former pupil.” Steven and Sarah, Year 4 teachers, Borrow Wood

- “As a predominately White British School, we found it very important for the children to understand their life in the context of the wider world and other cultures. Having real stories written by actual refugees has been a very moving and thought-provoking experience for staff and children alike.” Sophie, Year 5 teacher, Borrow Wood