Pupils at a Devon Primary School have been learning about the refugee crisis in a very special way this week, by using the latest in education technology to accompany an inspiring Syrian girl on her journey to the United Kingdom.
Little Amal – a giant puppet who has been trekking across the world to raise awareness about the plight of refugees – completed her 5,000 mile journey from the Turkish Syrian border to Manchester on Wednesday 3rd November. And while pupils at Broadclyst Primary School in Exeter live too far away to see Amal in person, they were able to share in her epic journey without leaving their classrooms.
Using exciting new digital resources produced by Discovery Education, Broadclyst pupils followed in Amal’s footsteps by watching special films that tracked her progress across Europe. From meeting The Pope in Rome to being greeted by actor Jude Law in Folkestone, the children were able to share in the joy of Amal’s journey while learning about the plight of refugees worldwide.
Little Amal, who is 3.5 metres tall, was constructed by the artists behind the acclaimed stage production of War Horse. Amal has trekked through 70 European towns and cities to shine a light on the plight of young migrants. Her journey, which was inspired by Stephen Daldry’s play The Jungle, ended with celebrations in Manchester on Wednesday evening.
Dale Lawson, teacher at Broadclyst Primary School part of the Cornerstone Academy Trust, said:
“The children were fascinated by Little Amal’s journey and while we weren’t able to see her in person, we could use digital technology to bring her journey into the classroom. Discovery Education’s digital resources gave us regular video updates on Amal’s progress and also helped the children to empathise with real-life refugees. Our pupils were able to learn about the refugee crisis in an accessible way and to explore relevant themes such as the meaning of home and the impact of climate change.”
Little Amal’s journey was part of a project called The Walk, created by Good Chance Theatre.
David Lan, Co-Producer of The Walk said:
“Little Amal has been on a journey that reflects the journeys that thousands of young people who have been forced to leave their homes face in countries all over the world. So often engagements with refugees assume that the focus should be on what they need from us. The Walk’s focus is on what we can learn from Amal and from her experience. The Walk’s multi-layered education resources provide a comprehensive starting point to begin a conversation with young people about what it means to be a refugee, an asylum seeker and a migrant.”
Howard Lewis, Managing Director, Global Initiatives at Discovery Education, said:
“Discovery Education is proud to partner with The Walk to bring Amal’s amazing journey into the classroom. Our digital resources will help schools to teach children about the refugee crisis in a sensitive and inspiring way, while inviting them to join this travelling festival of art and hope.”
Little Amal represents thousands of children who have fled war and persecution and need access to education to rebuild their lives. The Walk’s Amal Fund, in partnership with Choose Love, will help some of these young people to find education and achieve their potential wherever they find refuge. Find out more here.
The Walk With Amal resources are available in Discovery Education Espresso – an award-winning digital learning service for primary schools. With an expansive treasury of high-quality digital resources which can be applied to any lesson, Espresso helps teachers to deliver interactive learning experiences that spark curiosity, make classroom activities livelier and give every pupil the opportunity to have their “light bulb” moment. Schools interested in a trial of the service can request one here.