Smells like teen spirit: schools where students give back to their communities

Jul 29, 2015 by


For the past six months, Kainat Bibi, has spent Saturday mornings doing homework. This is perhaps not so surprising for a conscientious year 12 student, except that Kainat’s homework is not her own; she works on a scheme run by her school, Carlton Bolling College in Bradford, in which sixth formers support local Syrian refugees with school work in English, maths and science.

“I enjoy it,” says Kainat. “It’s my passion to help people so I find it easy to do.”

Through the project the school has been able to foster valuable local links, something it sees as an essential part of its role. Umrana Khan, post-16 learning and aspiration coach at Carlton Bolling, says: “There needs to be a relationship there [with the community] for us to be effective, and to enable our young people to develop opportunities for themselves as well.”

The sixth formers receive professional training and go through a formal application process and police check before working with the refugees. Khan says this procedure boosts students’ confidence and helps them realise what they are doing is really important. Through working with the Syrian children, students have learned to be supportive and sensitive to the fact that many have come from traumatic backgrounds.

Kainat says: “We aren’t allowed to ask the children about personal things, but if they want to talk to you they can.”

Source: Smells like teen spirit: schools where students give back to their communities | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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