Advice for teachers

The revised curriculum:

We’ve created a short document summarising where migration related themes are found in the revised curriculum now being taught in maintained schools. We hope it will help you as you plan within these subjects.

Teaching controversial issues:

Young people are growing up in a world where they are facing issues about which there are increasingly polarised opinions. Schools are a key environment within which these issues can be explored, and teachers need to have the skill and confidence to support their pupils in this. Themes related to migration are often seen as controversial, particularly while immigration remains such a hot topic in party politics. How can you ensure that you and your pupils get the most out of exploring these themes?

The site Moving Here gives this advice:

1) At the start of the lesson prepare students for the issues they are going to cover

2) Consider setting ground rules collaboratively with them

3) Use inappropriate comments or questions on sources to bring the focus back to the context of the lesson

4) Don’t automatically avoid contentious terms – make a point of discussing them in a safe way including why people find them offensive

5) Encourage all students to think of a time when they were treated unfairly- this can lead to a discussion about how stereotypes and prejudice arrive

6) Try and address any frustration or fears that arise within a lesson and not let pupils leave with these

7) Focussing on personal testimonies (of those within resources or those of your pupils themselves) can diminish tensions. People find it harder to argue with others’ truth.

This free 15 page pack produced by Oxfam on why and how to teach controversial issues offers comprehensive advice. It discusses the skills needed, setting of ground rules, the role(s) of the teacher in discussions, and finishes with some suggested activities on global citizenship topics.

Working with visitors in schools:

The Citizenship Foundation have compiled 10 helpful top tips for working with non-teaching professionals as visitors in the classroom.

If you have good advice to share from your teaching on migration, or feel you would like some support, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the feedback form at the right of this page.

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