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Crich Junior School

 

 

Do you work for Derbyshire County Council? If you read the back of your payslip, you may have read an article on our school being Derbyshire’s first School of Sanctuary.

We have been amazed and heartened at how the interest in our work on encouraging human connection is ‘snowballing’. We believe that once people meet and get to know asylum seekers, and understand why they are here, and what they are going through, it is impossible to ignore and often leads to compassion and action. We have witnessed this in bucket loads in Crich – education in its widest sense.

 

 Journeys of Destiny  

 

 

Our work on understanding the lives of people in flight has been greatly enhanced this term with our work with local actor and director Ava Hunt and Australian writer and musical director Craig Christie.

Journeys of Destiny is a play, still in creation, for young people and community audiences.

The play takes stories from all of our families, and weaves them with the true story of Saad Al-Kassab – a young Syrian refugee.

The story of Saad is moving, thought provoking and inspirational. An unexpected feature of the story was the importance of the Scout Movement. Did you know there were Scouts in Syria? Saad and his brother were part of a small group of Scouts who provided food and aid during the civil war. This made them a target and the family had to flee Syria. The family ended up in Australia, were again, the Scouting Movement became critical in helping the family to integrate successfully into another culture.

Our pupils often report to us about the exciting and enjoyable activities they have at Beavers, Cubs and Scouts – so vital for our children to begin to understand global community links and their place in this diverse and ever changing world.

[You can hear Saad’s story if you google

TedTalks: Saad Al-Kassab]

 

 

Demonstration of the scout salute

 

The scout salute

 

The following is a recount of the workshops Y6 took part in with Ava, Craig and three professional actors.

 

A play in the making

 

Year 6 had a brilliant experience with Craig, the play writer, and director Ava Hunt. We planned, rehearsed and performed as if we were a professional company. On the planning session, we filled in a sheet about feelings so we could empathise with those going through changes. We then warmed up our voices, by humming and then opening our mouths and we learnt how to listen to each other to make a harmony. Next, we sat in a circle holding hands. We had to squeeze each other’s hand in turn to create a pulse to see how fast we could communicate it around the circle. We achieved it in 4.55 seconds. By concentrating and focusing on each other, we eventually managed it in 3.55 seconds! Our challenge was to get it to 1 second but we are not quite there yet!

Ava explained that we would be involved in a play about Saaid, a Syrian refugee who is now living in Australia. Before they came again we were asked to write a poem so that some of our words could be used in the play.

Abi, Arya, Izzy and Jasmine

On the second visit, we played some more games that showed us how important teamwork and listening to each other is in acting. We all had a job to do. Professional actors also came and acted out parts of the play and helped us with our parts and our lines. In only one day, we managed to put together a whole play and then performed it for the rest of the school and the parents! It was exciting and very moving to be a part of a play, which was telling some of the journey of a refugee’s life.

Abi, Arya, Izzy and Jasmine

 

Filming the play

 

Filming the play

 

Shopping in Poundland

 

You may have seen posters in some of the shops in Crich asking for donations for Derby Refugee Centre to make Welcome Boxes.

We have been filling shoeboxes with small welcoming gifts and useful items for asylum seekers and refugees. Not long ago a group of year 6 pupils descended on Poundland in Belper to get some extra fillers for the boxes with the monetary donations we had received. Some of the items we chose were warm hats and gloves, socks, shower gel, hair clips, mugs and cute baby things. Gloves and hats are important when it is cold and you have come from a much warmer place. It was fun choosing what to put in the boxes. We cannot wait to give them to the centre when we visit next. We will be continuing with the boxes so please keep the donations coming into school!

Thank you for all your contributions – they are very much appreciated.

Ella, Jorja, Abi, Billy and Archie

 

shopping in Poundland these are the welcome boxes that were made to be given to the Derby Refuge Centre

 

                       Shopping in Poundland                            Welcome boxes for the Derby Refugee Centre