Primary school children across the UK will be learning about the refugee crisis in a very special way this week, as they get ready to welcome an inspiring Syrian girl into their homes and classrooms.
Little Amal – a giant puppet who has been trekking across the world to raise awareness about the plight of refugees – arrives on British shores on 19th October. And thanks to a new partnership between Discovery Education and organisers Good Chance Theatre, pupils will share in Amal’s epic journey without leaving their classrooms.
An exciting new suite of digital resources – ‘The Walk With Amal’ – from Discovery Education gives primary school children the opportunity to witness Amal’s 5,000 mile journey. Special films, shot on location across Europe, enable pupils to follow in her footsteps, while real-world videos will help them connect her journey to the plight of refugees worldwide.
Pupils also have the opportunity to step behind the scenes of The Walk, through a film about the making of this spectacular project. They’ll see how the puppet was constructed by the artists behind the acclaimed stage production of War Horse and learn how her journey was inspired by The Jungle, a powerful play about refugee camps directed by Stephen Daldry.
The Walk With Amal resources also include activities to ignite children’s curiosity and help them explore themes linked to the refugee crisis. From thinking about the meaning of home to looking at the impact of climate change, the activities will enable teachers to bring these complex ideas to life and help pupils to build empathy for refugees everywhere.
David Lan, Co-Producer of The Walk said:
“Little Amal has been on a journey that reflects the journeys that thousands of young people who have been forced to leave their homes face in countries all over the world. So often engagements with refugees assume that the focus should be on what they need from us. The Walk’s focus is on what we can learn from Amal and from her experience. The Walk’s multi-layered education resources provide a comprehensive starting point to begin a conversation with young people about what it means to be a refugee, an asylum seeker and a migrant. The work that takes place before Amal arrives in each place is what makes this project so powerful. The learning, the education and the connections made through deep-searching conversations as each community awaits her arrival is what unites us all as a corridor of Little Amal’s friends stretching all the way from the Syrian border to Manchester.”
Alice Evans, Education Producer at Good Chance Theatre said:
“It’s fantastic to partner with Discovery Education and widen our national school reach in the UK. There are so many ways to get involved with this project. The way Discovery Education has presented The Walk’s resources makes them easily accessible for teachers in the classroom.”
Howard Lewis, Managing Director, Global Initiatives at Discovery Education, said:
“Discovery Education is proud to partner with The Walk to bring Amal’s amazing journey into the classroom. Our digital resources will help schools to teach children about the refugee crisis in a sensitive and inspiring way, while inviting them to join this travelling festival of art and hope.”
Representing all displaced children, Little Amal is travelling to 70 towns and cities across Europe, carrying the message “Don’t forget about us.” Arriving in Folkestone, UK on 19th October, Amal will continue north and find a place to call home in Manchester on 3rd November. At each stage of her journey, Little Amal will be welcomed by artistic and cultural events. Schools and families are encouraged to join these – a full list of events can be found here.
Little Amal represents thousands of children who have fled war and persecution and need access to education to rebuild their lives. The Walk’s Amal Fund, in partnership with Choose Love, will help some of these young people to find education and achieve their potential wherever they find refuge. Find out more here.
The Walk With Amal resources are available in Discovery Education Espresso – an award-winning digital learning service for primary schools. With an expansive treasury of high-quality digital resources which can be applied to any lesson, Espresso helps teachers to deliver interactive learning experiences that spark curiosity, make classroom activities livelier and give every pupil the opportunity to have their “light bulb” moment. Schools interested in a trial of the service can request one here.