Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June.
In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
Everybody has the right to feel safe, welcomed and cared for, especially those communities and individuals that have to leave their homes becaause they are not safe anymore. At Dunkirk Primary, we felt it was an important week to take part in, and have included it into our Acts of Kindness programme of events.
During this week, the school held special assemblies across both campuses, exploring why people become refugees, what it must be like to feel unsafe in your home country and how it feels to leave your home and build a new life somewhere else. Every class used these assemblies to inspire some deep thinking, discussion and work back in class.
A huge part of this week was our Refugee Week song competition. We invited students to write their own songs about what it feels like to be a refugee or a welcome song to invite new arrivals into our community. This was a huge success and we have many budding songwriters and musicians amongst our students!! We had over 40 song entries and more than 100 children took part! After some difficult judging, we selected 4 runners up and 2 winners, Marina from (Year 4) and Sohm and Thalia (Year 6). Mr.Williams is now busy putting music and a backing track to both of these songs and they will be taught to the rest of the school very soon...
'One beat, one rythm, one heart, one world'
These were the central words of the 'solidarity march' which Year 4 planned and put into action after refugee week. It involved making welcome placards for refugees and marching from one school site to another to spread our message of kindness and care. We also created a 'welcome' flashmob which we performed at the Highfields school site for the rest of the children and staff to see.
We also had a whole school collection for one of our local refugee charities, Refugee Action Nottingham, who are collecting clothes and shoes for refugees in need. We had such a huge response from the school community, it took several car journeys to get everything to the charity's warehouse!
Thanks so much to the Dunkirk community for all it generosity!