What the resource is:
Teachers TV video of how a secondary school in East London with significant numbers of new arrivals, including refugee children, is working to ensure its focus on pupil inclusion is maintained. The programme looks at examples of the approach of Little Ilford secondary school, including how staff create entry points in the curriculum to make it accessible, challenging and interesting for new arrivals. There is also a look at an English lesson in which pupils explore ideas of exclusion and alienation through Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
The film is particularly powerful as it captures what young refugees and other international new arrivals say about their experiences and what helped them settle in and achieve.
Teachers' TV programmes can be viewed online via streaming video. This programme can be viewed on our Multiverse Teachers' TV player. Registered users with Teachers TV can also download programmes. Most programmes also include links to downloadable resources and support materials.
The aims of the resource:
To provide examples of effective ways of supporting the integration and achievement of refugee new arrivals from overseas.
- Providing peer support and buddying
- Induction procedures
- Welcoming parents and children
- Initial assessment
- Activating prior learning
- Removing barriers to learning
- Providing curriculum entry points and inclusion
- Collaborative learning
- Reading club
- Having high expectations of all new arrivals
The quality, authority and credibility of the resource:
Little Ilford School is recognised as being inclusive and, with large numbers of international new arrivals, having particularly successful induction practice. In its 2009 Ofsted inspection it was found to be an outstanding school. The film has added authority as it documents what the school's pupils say about their experiences and what helped them settle in and achieve.
The implications for ITE tutors/mentors:
The resource is relevant to ITE or CPD courses in the secondary sector. It is important in raising awareness and understanding about equalities and cohesion issues and the needs of vulnerable pupils, providing clear practice examples and guidance on ways of promoting the achievement of refugee new arrivals and other mobile pupils from minority ethnic groups.
The film can form the basis of a discussion and a reflection on the experiences and needs of refugee young people entering the English secondary school system and on effective school responses to support access to the curriculum. Students could be asked to identify key elements of practice at Little Ilford to compare with the practice at their own placement schools.
The relevance to ITE students:
The arrival mid-term in school of pupils, especially those who are refugees, can frequently be a source of anxiety for ITE students. All ITE students will be teaching pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds. Some are also likely to teach in schools with significant numbers of pupils from a refugee background and where new pupils from overseas join their class mid-term.
This is a film that places the viewers inside a school and engages them in the day-to-day challenges faced both at classroom and whole-school level. This film gives ITE students a unique opportunity to engage with key issues affecting refugee new arrivals and consider ways to adjust their teaching to ensure their needs are met. The film powerfully conveys the importance of having high expectations for the academic achievement of these young people.
The relevance to early career teachers and senior staff:
Much of what is relevant to ITE students is equally relevant to early career teachers, many of whom may have had limited experience of working with refugees. A great value of the resource is its presentation of Little Ilford School's whole-school induction procedures, as well as teaching and learning initiatives to support curriculum access. The example offered will be particularly useful to senior staff who are in a position to implement the kind of procedures described. The film can also be used as a resource for CPD.
Tim Spafford, 2010