Classroom Resources

Lesson plans, workshop activities and assemblies for children and young people of all ages. Click hyperlinks to access the resources.

If you have suggestions for further resources that should be included in this section, do let us know.


Teaching Resources for 2019 now available 

red cross resources

Refugee Week 2019 teaching resources from The British Red Cross are now available to download here. Using the theme of ‘You, me and those who came before’, this year’s Refugee Week teaching materials consider the generations of refugees throughout history who have had to start new lives elsewhere. With these activities, learners will gain understanding of the reasons why people may leave their homes, and that although the historical contexts will be different, the reasons can be similar.



Simple Acts

Simple Acts logo

Write a poem, find one fact or find out who you really are: for Refugee Week 2019, we’re inviting schools to do one of 7 Simple Acts.


Forced Migration Toolkit


Doc Academy and Comic Relief have teamed up to produce a free toolkit that explores the complex topic of forced migration whilst inspiring social action and advocacy with the help of powerful documentary storytelling. Full of interactive exercises from 15 minutes to one hour, the toolkit uses clips from the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning documentary ‘Exodus: Our Journey to Europe’ & Red Nose Day clips to develop students’ media literacy skills, critical thinking and empathy. Made for in the classroom, form and tutor groups, after-school groups and as part of assemblies and year-group projects (KS 3 & 4).

NEU Refugee Resources

A page of refugee teaching resources, booklists for primary and secondary teachers and useful websites which have been developed, used and shared by teachers for teachers, is help everyone show support for refugees, find out more about their experiences and make new connections in their communities.

NEU Welcoming Refugee Children to your School Guide


Welcoming Refugee Children to Your School provides practical information and suggestions for education professionals on how to create refugee-friendly schools and make classrooms and the curriculum accessible for children of all ages.

Migration Classroom Resource, Young Citizens

In this lesson students explore the various reasons why people chose to migrate.  They unpack the differences between refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants, examining key pieces of legislation to see what rights migrants have in both national and international law.  Finally students are asked to analyse a number of real life case studies. Suitable for Key Stage 3 & 4 (11-16 year olds).

New classroom resource from My Bright Kite

My Bright Kite educational resources Lessons of Hope

‘Lessons of Hope’ is a brand new classroom resource made by young refugees at Lawnswood High School, Leeds and launched My Bright Kite CIC. It aims to promote a deeper understanding about the experiences of young refugees and the small acts of kindness students can take to promote an ethos of welcome.

The resource is available to buy via the My Bright Kite shop and includes:

  • A filmed interview with Gulwali Passarlay – Author of The Lightless Sky
  • Lesson plan and teachers guidance
  • Accompanying educational resources for your lessons
  • Student pledge cards
  • A signed copy of Gulwali Passarlay’ book, The Lightless Sky: An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey of Escape to A New Life in Britain


Teaching Resources, Why Comics?

Free resources ​encouraging critical and reflective thinking on vital global themes, whilst encouraging learners to make connections between their own lives and lives of others throughout the world. Choose GCSE and A-Level​ lesson plans for various subjects​, and easily plan lessons based on subject, length, topic or length of lesson. Most lesson plans relate to interactive​ comics based on real-life stories​.

Refugee Week Shorts, IntoFilm

A resource for teachers and film club leaders to use as a stimulus to discuss the hardships and resilience of refugees around the globe. The resource contains guides to two short documentary films, Hamsa and Boya Boya (Shine Shine), and guides including discussion questions, and activity ideas to encourage learners to ask and answer questions and reflect on why people seek sanctuary in other countries.

Time to Flee, Amnesty International UK

Time to Flee uses fictional stories to address why people seek asylum and the difficulties they can face when they have to settle in a new country.


Oxfam and Schools of Sanctuary: Giving a Warm Welcome

This resource enables learners to think about why refugees leave their homes, what challenges they face, how welcoming the UK is to those seeking asylum and our fundamental human rights. Students can then turn their attention to their own school and the welcome it provides. The aim of the resource is to encourage young people to initiate their school becoming a School of SanctuaryClick here for the resource, which includes a Powerpoint presentation, handout and notes for teachers and young people.

The resource is one of several learning activities by Oxfam available – click here to find more teaching resource ideas.


Refugee Week Lesson Plan and Resources, Young Roots

A complete Key Stage 3 lesson plan exploring the facts about refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and celebrating their contributions. Click here to download the presentation and here for the accompanying case studies about the real lives of young people who are refugees. Resource created by Young Roots for Refugee Week 2015 – why not also show the four-minute film made by their young people about the positive difference refugees have made to their lives?



Write a poem for Refugee Week, Simon Mole


An interactive short video guiding pupils to write a poem exploring diversity and imagining the kind of community they want to live in. Made by Simon Mole for Salusbury World


Song: Everyday People, Music Action International

(c) Music Action International

(c) Music Action International

Everyday People:LDN, a group of teenage refugees and asylum seekers, have created a song with a message of peace and unity for other young people to learn and perform for Refugee Week.

‘Everyday People’ comes with a teaching resource, aimed at Key Stage 2, by Music Action International with Refugee Week and the British Red Cross.


Song: One World To Share, Grumpy Sheep music

Especially written for Refugee Week by Grumpy Sheep, primary school pupils will love this thoughtful yet upbeat song. Click here to download the backing track.

Musical: As Free as a Bird, Grumpy Sheep music

GrumpySheep-As Free As A Bird Cover-R4-SkyBlue

A friendly little rabbit family are forced to flee their much-loved home when it becomes too dangerous to live there any more. This exciting musical for primary schools is especially written to raise awareness amongst children about people seeking sanctuary.

Click here for more details or to purchase the book and CD


Seeking Safety, Amnesty International UK

An activity pack for 6-8 year olds featuring eight interactive activities to understand why people flee their country.  

Refugee Assembly resource, Christian Aid via TES

This assembly, with Powerpoint presentation, uses case studies from Angloa, Bangladesh and Burma to explore some of the reasons that force people to become refugees.

Children in Conflict lesson: Syria, Action Aid Schools Team via TES

Lesson plan based on the life of Israa,  a 13-year-old Syrian refugee. Pupils will find out what life was like for Israa before and after the civil war started and try to put themselves in her shoes by writing a newspaper article of blog post about her story. Suggested for KS2 Citizenship and English lessons.

Educational/ awareness workshop, One – Refugees Support Scotland

A workshop developed for Refugee Festival Scotland 2016, focusing on the successful integration of refugees into their new communities


Whole School

The Dogtown Fire, Up 4 It Music



Join Policedog 99, the Guv’nor, the Little Brown Butterfly and all the other characters as they respond to the crisis in this modern-day parable about the futility of war and the plight of refugees. A musical for 8-13 year olds, including a free download of the song ‘Out of the frying pan, into the fire’.

In Search of Safety: Children and the Refugee Crisis in Europe, UNICEF

Downloadable teaching resource allowing you to explore the refugee and migrant crisis with children and young people at school. More than 20 activities to help children explore and understand the crisis. Tailored for primary and secondary classes (ages 7 to 18), they range from short one-off lessons to longer projects and whole-school ideas.

Schools of Sanctuary

Extend your school’s commitment to refugees beyond Refugee Week by becoming a School of Sanctuary. Find out how on the Schools of Sanctuary website, which also has a long and rich list of resource packs, lesson plans, links to films, assembly kits and more.


Exploring human rights through poetry, Amnesty International UK

What makes poetry powerful and how can you express your personal response to human rights? These lesson plans aim to help students explore the choices that poets make and experiment with their own writing. Poems relevant to Refugee Week include The right word by Imtiaz Dharker, Push the Week by Jackie Kay and Glasgow Snow by Jackie Kay.

Traces Project: Refugee artists in the UK

The Traces Project is the first digital timeline to tell the untold history of arts and culture contributions by people who have sought safety in the UK from conflict and persecution. The website features 14 unique learning activities for Key Stages 1-4 which encourage young people to explore issues of refugeehood, displacement, home and identity in creative ways. Click here to browse and download the activities.

Refugee Week posters by Felt, via TES

Set of downloadable posters for Refugee Week. Made for KS2 but can be used for other age groups. Posters include: Title poster, What is a refugee? What is an asylum seeker? Why do people become refugees? How many refugees are there? and 6 posters which look at famous refugees including Anne Frank, Einstein, Sitting Bull, Faberge, Georg Von Trapp and The Dalai Lama


Speaker Tool Kit: Refugee Rights, Amnesty International

This resource contains session plans and activity ideas aimed at supporting students when it comes to understanding what refugee means, to reflect and emphasise with the experience of refugees and to recognise how they can act in solidarity with refugees. Resources available for Key Stage 2 and 3.

Based on the recommendations of Amnesty Internationals global human rights education network 8 educational resources that explain the right of refugees have been compiled and can be found here.

To search for more Amnesty International resources click here.


The Belonging Toolkit

A toolkit featuring lesson plans, teachers’ guidance, films and activities for Key Stages 2 and 3,  giving invaluable insight into the issues facing migrant children and young people. Co-produced with Coram Life Education and Coram’s Young Citizens.


The UN Refugee Agency Data website

This data portal is an interactive on-line resource containing maps, data and a whole range of links and articles on refugee emergencies around the world.


Refugee Week film resource, Into Film and Refugee Council

resource created for Refugee Week 2015, which uses films to encourage discussion and celebration of the contributions made by refugees. This resource contains a guide to five films that help bring the stories and struggles of refugees to life and includes discussion questions and activity ideas to encourage learners to ask and answer questions on why people seek sanctuary in other countries.


Simple Acts, Counterpoints Arts

Simple Acts is about inspiring individuals to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees. Children of all ages can engage in and share one of five Simple Acts of Welcome

Further Simple Acts resources

Refugee Week Simple Acts History and Heritage Quiz

Refugee Week and Simple Acts History and Heritage Teaching Resource 01

Refugee Week and Simple Acts History and Heritage Teaching Resource 02

Refugee Week and Simple Acts History and Heritage Teaching Resource 03


ActionAid Resources

Click here for resources for KS1 and KS2 classes. Have a look here at how these resources have been used by schools. Click here for resources for KS3 classes.


Further Resources 


1. Classroom resources for Primary Schools


Refugees: A Resource Book for Primary Schools

A popular resource book for 5 – 11 year olds containing activities, personal testimonies and background information.Invaluable for teachers wishing to cover refugee issues as part of Citizenship, English, History, Geography, Religious Education and other subjects.Comes with a Journey to Safety game.


ISBN 0 946787 77 8

Published by the Refugee Council (1998)

Price: £4.50

Kosovan Journeys: Refugee children tell their stories

Two refugee children tell their stories in this colourful A3 book for Literacy Hour reading and activities.

KS2/ KS3

ISBN: 0 946787 43 3

Published by the Refugee Council (2001)

Price: £6.00

Why Do They Have to Fight? – Refugee Children’s Stories from Bosnia, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia

A source book of refugee children’s stories and paintings, for Key Stage 2 and 3 Citizenship Studies. Contains basic facts and figures about refugees, a short dictionary of key words and phrases, and a resource list.

KS2/ KS3

ISBN: 0 946787 18 2

Published by the Refugee Council (1998)

Price: £4.50

A Long Way From Home: young refugees in Manchester write about their lives

Young refugees in Manchester give accounts of their lives and their experiences as refugees.The book contains stories of fear, anxiety and destruction as well as of relief and happiness.To order a copyemail: or tel: 0161 275 2920.

KS2/ KS3

ISBN: 0-9542874-0-1

Published by Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive and Save the Children (2002)

Price: £2.50

A Time for Rights: Activities for citizenship and PSHE for 9-13 year olds

This teaching pack explores citizenship and rights in relation to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through role play, cartoons, stories, poems and a wide variety of activities, A Time for Rights looks at what rights mean to an individual child, in the family and in the community.


ISBN: 1 871440 24 6

Published by Save the Children (2002)

Come Unity: Somali Women’s Training and Development Organisation

Researched and written by Theo Bryer

An educational activity pack for use with key stage 2 and 3. The pack includes hourly lesson plans and a video illustrating the history and success of the Somali Women’s Training and Development Organisation.



Start with a Difference. Promoting Race Equality in Early Years. A Jewish Perspective.

Julie Taylor

This publication provides practical ways of introducing race equality at the Foundation Stage. Although primarily aimed at Jewish nurseries and schools and written from a Jewish perspective, this publication also has a far wider appeal. The book highlights the need for early years practitioners to prepare all children for life in today’s multicultural and multi-faith society. Combining anti-discriminatory and multicultural approach, this publication will help children to begin to understand and appreciate their diverse society.

Email: John Schlackman on , or call 020 8455 0896

Publisher: The Jewish Council for Racial Equality. Registered Charity Number: 281236

ISBN 13: 978-0-9552745-0-3

ISBN 10: 0-9552745-0-8

Price: £15

Lets Make a Difference. Teaching Anti-racism in Primary Schools. A Jewish Perspective.

Description: This excellent resource can help tackle the difficult topic of racism, using insights of Jewish teaching and experience. This publication examines ways of combating stereotyping and racism and will help educate young people about immigration, asylum seekers and refugees.

Email: John Schlackman on , or call 020 8455 0896

Dr. Edie Friedman, Hazel Woolfson, Sheila Freedman and Shirley Murgraff

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Price: £15

Far From Home

An assembly from Ten:Ten Resources that helps children to understand the reasons some people seek refuge and how we might be able to welcome these people and show them support through simple acts. (free registration required)

2. Classroom resources for Secondary Schools

KS = Key Stage

KS 2 = 7-11yrs old

KS 3 = 11-14yrs old

KS 4 = 14-16 yrs old

KS 5 = 16-18 yr olds

A Refugee Like Me

Free resource from the Wonder Foundation. KS3 Lesson Plan.
Learning objectives:
– To understand what a refugee is
– To step into the shoes of a refugee and see what it would be like
To support this lesson there are:
-PowerPoint presentation.

We Left Because We Had to (3rd Edition)

Comprehensive and authoritative, the third edition of this best-selling book has been completely re-written for the Citizenship curriculum. Jill Rutter sensitively addresses the difficult issue of asylum seekers and refugees. The book is full of ideas and activities that have been tried and tested in the classroom. Each chapter contains photographs, drawings, maps and games to bring the subject alive to students. This bestselling text for 14-18 year olds compliments the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 and 4 Citizenship and History courses, Key Stage 5 Citizenship and General Studies and non-statutory Religious Education. It contains photographs, drawings, maps and games to bring the subject alive in the classroom

KS3 / KS4 / KS5

ISBN 0 946787 59 X

Published by Refugee Council

Price: £19.95

A Fight to Belong

Published by Save the Children (2000)

This story book and teachers’ pack explores the issue of deportation from a child’s perspective.A Fight to Belong tells the powerful and moving story of the well-publicised Okolo family anti-deportation campaign in the UK. Through the eyes of 8-year-old Anwuli, one of the two children involved, we hear how friends, teachers and parents wrote letters, signed petitions, sang and marched in support of the family. The accompanying teacher’s pack provides Key Stage 2 and 3 National Curriculum links to Citizenship, Equal Opportunities, Personal/Moral/Social Education and extended writing for literacy.


Global Link

Global Link has two major projects which help people empathise with the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Escape to Safety: a multi-media multi-sensory, interactive artistic exhibition within a 40 foot trailer which takes participants on a journey through different rooms that represent stages on a refugees’ journey to seek asylum in the UK.

Fortress Europe: an installation where participant walks through a ‘labyrinth’ of eight stations as if they were a refugee seeking asylum in Britain. On a walkman they are accompanied by refugee voices interacting with border-guards, immigration officials and tabloid media.

Teaching resources are available to support work with both exhibitions.

CDR HomeBeats: Struggles for Racial Justice

HomeBeats is a multimedia journey through time, from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, to the making of modern Britain. The first CDROM on racism and the black presence in Britain, it fuses music, graphics, video, text and animation into a stunning voyage of personal and historical discovery for every user.

KS3/ KS4

Published by the Institute of Race Relations (1998)

Positive Press: Working with the media to challenge racism and discrimination

Through the Positive Press project, 75 children and young people were able to speak out about issues that affect them. They worked together, using communications and the media to challenge discrimination and reduce community tension

Download more info

Making a Difference. Promoting Race Equality in Secondary Schools, Youth Groups and Adult Education – a Jewish Perspective.

It examines both the Jewish experiences of racism as well as that of the Black and Asian communities. This publication examines the position of asylum seekers and refugees today and considers what can be done on a practical level to combat racism and develop a just and multi-ethnic society.

Price: £15

Dr. Edie Friedman, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Email: John Schlackman on, or call 020 8455 0896

Come Unity: Somali Womens’ Training and Development Organisation

Researched and written by Theo Bryer

An educational activity pack for use with key stage 2 and 3. The pack includes hourly lesson plans and a video illustrating the history and success of the Somali Women’s Training and Development Organisation.

KS2/ KS3