Refugees: Our shared future

Celebrate our shared future by considering how collaboration between people from different backgrounds strengthens communities.

Syrian refugees and other volunteers fill sandbags to stem flood water in York city centre, December 2015.
Lesson plan, video
Citizenship, SMSC
Refugees and migration, Humanitarianism and the Red Cross

This teaching resource can be used throughout the year to help young people to explore universal human values, which help us to develop mutual respect and understanding.

The session looks at how refugees have contributed to the communities they live in. Young people are encouraged to take positive action to create a shared future.

This resource is designed for ages 14–16 (with differentiation options for 11–13).


Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • discuss the values that underpin mutual respect and understanding
  • build empathy by engaging with a refugee’s story
  • think about the individual and collective values needed to build a shared future.


Resource overview

  • Overview

Teacher guidance and detailed information about curriculum links.

  • Activity 1: “Someone like me”

Use aspects of identity to stimulate discussion and provide an opportunity for young people to challenge their own thoughts about refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Activity 2: Mutual respect and understanding

Explore the importance of building mutual respect and understanding and discuss how values can support the development of cohesive communities.

  • Activity 3: Building empathy

Film-based activity introducing young people to the story of a young person who became a refugee, helping build empathy.

  • Activity 4: Community building

Use case studies to help young people consider refugees as fellow citizens, and to think about their own role as active citizens in supporting positive integration.

  • Activity 5: Taking positive action

Produce an action plan that focuses on the role young people can play in creating a positive shared future.

Video: Seeking Refuge – Real-life stories of young people fleeing their homelands


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

The photo shows Syrian refugees and other volunteers filling sandbags to stem flood water in York city centre, December 2015 (© European Pressphoto Agency/Lindsey Parnaby).