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A Syrian refugee has arrived

(39 Posts)
WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 20:40:11 my form class. No English as yet.
As a form tutor, I'd love to be able to help him out and support him in any way I can. He's 12, school have given him his uniform and some basic equipment, but I'd really like to help out.

What are my options here? I have so much stuff I don't need - from rucksacks, pencil cases, to good second hand coats. Am I seriously over stepping the line by seeing if him and his family need them?

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shutupandshop Tue 08-Mar-16 20:42:38

Oh welsh you sound lovely. I hope you wouldn't be.

Coconutty Tue 08-Mar-16 20:44:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleBlackTrilby Tue 08-Mar-16 20:44:47

How wonderful for the boy! You sound like a great teacher. Sorry I have no relevant advice, just smileflowers

Shallishanti Tue 08-Mar-16 20:46:22

hmm interesting boundary question
does he have family with him?
I'm sure any practical support would be very welcome but if you are going to be his form tutor it might be sending him a confusing message about your role, if you give him things directly, perhaps? maybe better if it was routed through the school or a local support group somehow?

PixieChops Tue 08-Mar-16 20:46:36

Oh bless him, yes check with the head first but I'm sure that would be much appreciated. Can you check back in on this thread and let us know how he's getting on? It's really lovely of you to care. So many people don't and it breaks my heart.

Lolimax Tue 08-Mar-16 20:49:29

Hi Welsh...are you? I mean are you in Wales? My gut instinct is yes! Help! But I thought the families being repatriated here were being fully supported. There (should!!) be a team (police, health, housing, inclusion etc...) supporting the family and the Head will (please!) have links to this. You can inbox me if you think this applies. But if this was me I would want him the same as everyone else.

Shutthatdoor Tue 08-Mar-16 20:52:19

You seriously need to check with your Head before you do anything

WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 20:54:33

Yes. Loli, I'm Welsh grin

Thanks everyone. I'll check with my head tomorrow. I shook his hand today and he was so meek and humble, it broke my heart. I'll update the thread if I can.

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WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 20:55:45

The boy's hand, not my Head's hand!

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PrincessHairyMclary Tue 08-Mar-16 21:03:25

I work with EAL students As he doesn't have much English the British Council website is a gold mine for resources as is the Bracknell Forest one.

WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 21:51:02

Princess, thank you. I'll print a load of stuff out for him too - perhaps pop it all in a file. It may help his folks out too. That said, I need to check if he's accompanied or not.

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PrincessHairyMclary Tue 08-Mar-16 22:00:31

I'm on my phone so can't check properly but I think it's the Bracknell forest website has a hand book with lots of illustrated useful phrases you can fill in with the information related to your school. "School starts at...","Lunch is at ...." Etc It also has useful phrases like "Can I go to the toilet?" A bit like a holiday phrase book so they can point to what they need whilst they are getting used to speaking the language.

elephantoverthehill Tue 08-Mar-16 22:05:49

Great suggestions. Is the young man buddied with another student to help him integrate?

WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 22:10:52

He is. His buddy is a lovely lad so am confident he'll have a decent start in that sense.

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WelshMoth Tue 08-Mar-16 22:12:17

Princess, is the handbook something I can download?

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LauraMipsum Tue 08-Mar-16 22:31:32

I do a lot of work with refugees. The things I'd suggest are

* don't assume all refugees are penniless. Many are but there are some who come from comfortable backgrounds; they're fleeing war not poverty (although there is obviously significant overlap)

* find out what the cultural boundaries are regarding accepting gifts - his family might be grateful but they might equally be mortified

* if he is an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) then social services will ensure that his immediate physical needs are met, what he will need from school is extra time and input. I've never met a UASC yet who isn't super-motivated to do well at school.

* If he has first hand experience of war he may be very suspicious of his peers / more likely to hit out if he feels threatened, or come over as very eager to please / appease and therefore vulnerable to being taken advantage of, and may need extra support in just 'being a child.' Heightened awareness of things like PTSD will do him many more favours than a second hand pencil case!

You sound lovely, I hope he flourishes with you flowers

WelshMoth Wed 09-Mar-16 07:06:51

Laura, thanks for your post. It highlighted something really important actually re the PTSD. sad

Thankfully, our school has an enormous pastoral presence so I'm confident that he'll have the support he needs. I just want to make sure that I know the signs to look our for.

I emailed my Head this morning (early - couldn't sleep) and he has already replied with a "Not a problem with me at all - run this by our EAL unit" so I've emailed them too.

Re the links - I was hoping to be able to print off resources for this lad, but I cannot seem to find anything really helpful. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


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bakeoffcake Wed 09-Mar-16 07:14:59

You sound wonderfulflowers

But I'm really shocked that a child had been put in your class and you know absolutely nothing about his circumstances or how to help him.
I really feel for you and wish you and him all the luck in the world.

LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 14:09:26

Welsh, you can try these who are all really helpful and might be able to point you in the right direction

WelshMoth Wed 09-Mar-16 21:09:44

Laura - sorry - crazy hectic day.
Huge thanks for links. I'll sift through them all tomorrow.

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WelshMoth Thu 10-Mar-16 20:30:24


What an absolutely lovely, lovely boy I have in my class. His shy smile and the occasional quick grin has won over even the hardened city girls in my class. Most of my form are looking out for him during the school day and so far, his first week is going ok, I think.

I've found another Arabic speaker in an older year, and he's helping me out a little, but google translate is giving me single words to help us get by.
I've learnt a little about his family that are with him, and I'm labelling every day objects like chair, table, book, scissors etc around the room for him to learn.

Thankfully, I've been told that his family are receiving benefits and support, but I've told him that I am here should he need anything. He seemed to understand. I hope this works for him, I really do hope so.

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Lolimax Thu 10-Mar-16 20:45:21

Hi Welsh moth. Lovely update. I'm glad the family are getting the support we've been reassured such displaced families need. More will be coming to Wales and I hope the kids all get as supportive teachers as yourself.

shutupandshop Thu 10-Mar-16 21:04:21

I'm so glad Welsh. You are lovelystar

WelshMoth Thu 10-Mar-16 22:58:32

Sorry - one more question -

For Arabic speakers -

I've been looking on Pinterest for Arabic to English words and have come across loads of things. Will they be helpful to this child though? The alphabet is totally different so in not sure if I'm doing the right thing....

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