ST JOHN BOSCO Arts College in Croxteth has scooped an award for helping its students to better understand the refugee crisis.
The school’s Mission Week, themed around “refugees welcome”, picked up the Creative Team Project of the Year Award at the Archdiocese of Liverpool Schools Awards.
The event, sponsored by Liverpool Hope University and Teaching Personnel, celebrates excellence shown by pupils, staff and governors that contribute so successfully to life in schools across the Archdiocese.
The school hosts a Mission Week every year to celebrate its Christian ethos and to invite students to think about different issues affecting the world and its local community.
Figures from The UN Refugee Agency show an unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.
The project saw teachers leave items around the school to prompt discussion; items left included a boat, pieces of clothing and a lifebelt to represent the treacherous journey many refugees take to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
A former student Maghol Kashani also visited the school to talk to Year 8 pupils about her journey to the UK as an asylum seeker. Maghol joined the school in Year 10 with no English skills, but is now in her second year of university at Edge Hill.
Every year group from Year 7 to 12 took part in the day of off-timetable lessons focused around the theme. Students wrote poems, made cushions and took part in activities which touched on difficult subjects such as sex trafficking.
Other guest speakers included the college trustees, the Salesian Sisters and representatives from Merseyside Refugee & Asylum Seekers Pre & post Natal Support Group (MRANG).
Headteacher Darren Gidman says: “We are delighted to win this award and gain recognition from the Archdiocese of Liverpool. The refugee crisis is an issue which has been widely covered in the news so we felt it was important to educate students and celebrate the contribution refugees make to the UK.
“There was so much energy and enthusiasm from our young people throughout the week and they handled the sensitive topics with maturity, respect and empathy. Our ultimate goal is to help each individual develop as a whole, and our Mission Week is just one of the many ways we do this.
“Thank you to the Archdiocese of Liverpool for presenting us with this fantastic accolade.”