Syria: Building a school from the rubble

Discuss the importance of school, by learning about a group of children who created their own school during the Syrian conflict.

School in Raqqa, Syria
11 - 16
Lesson plan
PSHE, Tutor time
Conflict, Newsthink

The Syrian conflict began in 2011, and fierce fighting and bombing has left the city of Raqqa in ruins.

In 2018, a group of teenagers decided that, rather than waiting for others to rebuild the city’s schools, they would create their own school. They had all missed four or five years of education and they felt there was no time to lose.

These activities look at the determination of the students, the benefits of going to school and what learners would include if they were creating their own school. 

Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • understand the importance of education
  • consider the fact that many children do not have easy access to education
  • explore the role that education plays in their own lives.

Resource overview

1. Report: Learning in adversity
By looking at a short report of the story, learners discuss what life would be like if they didn’t have to go to school, all the things they would miss out on and the importance of an education for the schoolchildren that are affected by conflict. 

2. Discussion: Creating a school
Learners will design their own school, thinking about all of the things that are necessary to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment.  


This resource was written by Nick Hunter and published in January 2019.

The photo shows schoolchildren walking past destroyed buildings in Raqqa, Syria © Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images.