Pupils given the facts not fiction for Refugee Week

Pupils Kathryn Magee and Paul Willis, both 14, with Hilaire Agnama, who is part of the project

Pupils Kathryn Magee and Paul Willis, both 14, with Hilaire Agnama, who is part of the project

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STUDENTS will learn about the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees.

Pupils at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, in Westway, Peterlee, will find out about the plight of the two groups as part of Refugee Week, which runs from Monday, June 20, to Saturday, June 26.

Peterlee Mayor, Councillor John Hardy, officially opened an interactive trailer at the school, where students will find out about the life of refugees and asylum seekers. The students will also explore the subject in different curriculum areas.

Assistant headteacher Paul Dickson said: “We are educating the kids to the facts instead of the myths around asylum seekers and refugees.

“It’s quite interesting and we have been asking the question ‘what does it mean to be 100 per cent British?’

“There are interesting facts like how the first fish and chips in Britain were brought from Jewish refugees who were expelled from Portugal in the 17th century. And the man who invented the Mini was also a refugee.

“It’s about getting kids to think about how you would feel in a country that has persecution, war or famine. It’s in our nature to be compassionate and support each other.

“We want kids to stop and reflect about what their role is and to be compassionate and supportive of others. The bedrock of our school is ‘treat people as you expect to be treated’.”

The trailer will feature audio-visual equipment where students can learn about experiences.

Asylum seekers and refugees from the area have also been invited to share their stories.

The school is hosting a refu-tea evening from 4pm-6pm on Wednesday, June 22, which is open to the public.