Blackfriars Priory School Refugee Program - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Blackfriars Priory School Refugee Program

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Blackfriars Priory School Refugee Program

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  1. Blackfriars Priory School Refugee Program

  2. First Generation Refugees to Blackfriars 2005 • 20 refugee students primarily from Afghanistan and Sudan • No formal support structures • Limited understanding of refugee needs

  3. Refugee Leadership Program • Program initiated to enhance literacy levels through oral communication – CEO initiative • Student leaders presented their refugee experiences and opinions through a range of forums • Aimed to develop a better understanding of refugee experiences and attitudes

  4. First Generation Refugees to Blackfriars • Many born in home country • Witnessed first hand war and hardship • Typically had no previous schooling before Australia • Intensive responsibilities to support parents in their transition to Australia • Low literacy and numeracy levels • Strong camaraderie with their peers

  5. First Generation Refugees Overall Issues • Minimal access to the curriculum • Conceived aggression towards peers and staff • Disengaged and distracted in classroom environment • Emotional distress

  6. Successes of Leadership Program • Improved literacy levels and success with school • Stronger sense of collegiality between students and staff • Greater understanding of how to meet the needs of refugee students

  7. Blackfriars Today

  8. Current Refugee Cohort • Typically grew up as refugees in other countries • English is potentially a 3rd language • Experience of racism • Have little knowledge of their mother country • Many have lost their fathers or are living with relatives

  9. Blackfriars today - Everyday Challenges • Literacy and numeracy skills • Funding and tightening of refugee terminology makes it far more difficult to access resources • Sheer numbers makes it difficult to manage individuals – boys get lost in the system • Boys far more eager to ‘fit in’ • Negative role models – gang culture • Parents’ sense of helplessness in controlling negative behaviour • Negative media perceptions and affect on students • Difficulties in accessing employment opportunities • Relationships with teachers and tension • Greater demands – ie. Accessing external services

  10. Refugee Support Person

  11. Mentoring Program • Counselling of younger students • Acting as translators • Working with primary school boys • Working with teachers to develop understanding

  12. External Mentoring Program Mentoring of Primary School Children Developing Leadership Skills Sharing of Refugee & Educational Experiences

  13. Homework Club • Supports Refugee students with their studies • Provides a space for students to gain extended learning experiences from subject specific teachers • Provides a space for student to interact and socialise with their peers and teachers • Provides a space to counsel and advise students

  14. Lunch Meetings • Opportunity to Socialise • Sharing issues and ideas with teachers and staff members • Organising events such as Refugee Week

  15. Joint Youth Program – Prospect Council & Blackfriars • Students form part of the Prospect Youth Advisory Committee • Develop strategies and activities to engage youth • Help to organise and facilitate holiday programs • Developed Youth Week activities and took on leadership responsibilities

  16. Student Achievements Innocent Bigga • Award for Excellence – Young Achiever of the Year Award (2007) • Prospect Counsel Young Australian of the Year Award (2007) Makuac Dhal • Multicultural Award for Culture and Language as part of the Young Australian of the Year Award category (2008) Sana Qasimy • Award of Recognition – Multicultural Award for Culture and Language (2009)