Kilwinning Academy’s head teacher has spoken of his great pride in his pupils for making Sudanese refugees feel welcome in their new home.
After recently welcoming five Sudanese boys, the school decided to hold an interdisciplinary learning week, with lessons planned for pupils to learn more about the journeys refugees from various parts of the world are forced to make when fleeing conflict.
This culminated in a celebration event last week, with parents and council dignitaries popping in to see the pupils’ work.
Head teacher Tim Swan told the Irvine Times of his great pride in how the refugees have been welcomed by the pupils and that they were now all learning from each other.
“It’s been a learning curve for them and for us as staff”, Mr Swan said.
“When the five boys came in at the start they were getting their language skills built up. Then we’ve been getting them into classes, particularly technical, PE, Art, where it’s skills based.
“The boys are part of our community, part of our school and when you see them in the playground, they’re just the same as everybody else.
“They’re just like every other Scottish person and want to get a game of football. It’s amazing to see at the end of every game they all shake hands – and we’ve no really done that in the past.
“I’ve watched the games and every time everybody, the Scots boys from Kilwinning and the Sudanese boys, they’re all shaking hands with each other. So we’ve learned and changed as well, it’s really good to see.
"The week was very busy, every morning started off with a different video clip at registration, there was a different story of a different person's journey and the challenges they faced. So we used that to set the scene for the young people and then the tasks followed on from that."
Council leader Joe Cullinane said: “I’m delighted to see the work the pupils have done, but even more with how the Kilwinning community have welcomed the kids since they came.”
MSYP-elect Aaron McDonald said: “I think it’s really good the work we’ve done at Kilwinning Academy and I think Mr Swan lead that well.”