accessibility & help

Refugees: Welcome

This resource celebrates the welcome shown to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and seeks to encourage and inspire communities to continue to welcome new arrivals in the weeks, months and years to come.

This teaching resource is designed to help young people gain a better understanding of the humanitarian impact of the refugee crisis. Activities build learners’ empathy for the real people affected by the crisis and encourage young people to consider the difference a welcome could make to someone seeking asylum and refuge.

Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • increase their understanding of the refugee crisis and develop awareness of the personal stories behind the numbers and headlines
  • consider how language can enforce and encourage negative views 
  • explore emotions and words associated with the idea of feeling welcome.

Resource overview

Key facts sheet

Helpful definitions and background information builds understanding of the refugee crisis.

Activity 1: Building understanding

Engage young people’s curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions about what it might feel like to be a young refugee in the UK. Use photographs and a story about a young Syrian refugee in Glasgow to develop awareness of the personal crises behind the numbers and headlines.

Activity 2: Developing empathy

Show learners a short British Red Cross film called ‘I am a human’. Use the film to explore how language can enforce and encourage negative views and stigma towards refugees and asylum seekers.

Activity 3: Welcome

Explore the language and emotions associated with feeling welcome and unwelcome. Use drama techniques to help young people consider how they could make refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome.

Activity 4: Welcome words

This activity uses poetry as a means for young people to explore the power of words. Young people will experiment with language to express a message of welcome for refugees and asylum seekers.

Next steps

Further activities and suggestions for practical actions help young people consider what they could do to make refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome in their schools and communities.

Suggested age range


Curriculum links

The activities support elements of the English curriculum – specifically the development of literacy skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening – and also PSHE and Citizenship.

Drama, Art and Design, the Arts and the Expressive Arts in the different UK curricula are also a strong theme for this resource – specifically through the presentation of ideas and understanding.


These resources were written by Rob Bowden of Lifeworlds Learning and published in May 2016. Reviewed September 2017.