Building the Bridge: Refugees and Schools



The course organisers will send to the participants a list of materials related to the course topic that they can read in order to prepare for the course (such as Erasmus + Guide for 2020). The organisers will assist the participants if they need information related to the accommodation, plane tickets or other necessary details.

Course description

There has never been greater need for adapting schools for receiving refugees; sometimes it is necessary to change the whole mind-set, to be open to different cultures, and it is usually a long process. Schools are a key factor in instilling the tolerant spirit that our societies need. This course prepares teachers psychologically and pedagogically for working with students coming from different backgrounds. It describes the shortcomings and advantages for all the factors involved: teachers, native students, new coming students, parents, institution. It aims at raising awareness of the new teaching strategies that the teacher needs to approach in order to deliver classes that promote inclusion and tolerance. 


The methodological approach implicates:

  • Ice – Breaker Sessions,
  • Debates;
  • Team – Building Sessions;
  • Group Discussions;
  • Six Hats Method;
  • Problem – Solving Activities;
  • Project – Solving Activities
  • Questioning;
  • Goal – Setting sessions;
  • Decision – Making Sessions;
  • Action – Based Strategies;
  • Brainstorming;
  • Planning an Structuring;
  • Negotiation and Persuasion;
  • Self – Motivation Sessions;
  • Questionnaires


  • Learning how to tackle the problem of refugee students
  • Improving teaching skills and refreshing the teaching style
  • Developing tools and techniques for dealing with students with emotional problems
  • Increasing parental involvement in education
  • Provoking responses to problems which are global rather than provincial in nature and which foster interests in the outside world
  • Increasing students' tolerance towards multiculturality and diversity
  • Learning how to cooperate with the community through various projects made in schools
  • Exchanging experiences and cross cultural practices in dealing with new students in schools

Learning Outcomes

  • Introducing the basic terminology related to refugees
  • Familiarizing with the EU policies about refugees
  • Reflecting upon examples of good practices from different European countries related to the topic
  • Raising awareness of the causes leading to refugees
  • Practicing activities aimed at enhancing the students' motivation to work with different students
  • Improving communication between parties involved in education: parents, teachers, students
  • Understanding the mechanism of functioning the heterogeneous classroom
  • Integration with teachers from various European countries and sharing ideas of how to solve the problem
  • Improvement of language and communication skills
  • Increased capacity to cooperate on international level
  • Getting practical ideas for cooperative work in classroom
  • Enhancing intercultural awareness
  • Broader understanding of practices, policies and systems in education
  • Encouragement of sharing best practices, ideas and materials between colleagues within the EU
  • Development of tools and techniques for innovative problem solving


Trainees will be given soft and hard copies of all lesson materials, which they can present to their colleagues in their own organizations to generate interest in project writing. In addition, a mailing list of participants will be created in order to exchange ideas/experiences. At the end of the course the participants will fill in a questionnaire in order to get a detailed feedback for the effectiveness of the training event.

Programme of training activities day-by-day:

Day 1 – MONDAY

  • Welcome and registration
  • Introduction to the problem of refugees; The background of the problem
  • How you and your students can prepare for new situation socially, emotionally and mentally
  • Learning the basic terms about refugees
  • Effective strategies to increase the newcomer students' inclusion in the classroom


  • From homogenous to heterogeneous classroom: how to overcome the transition
  • The other side of the coin: how non-fluent students adapt to the new school
  • Teaching non-natives in a native environment: grading the language 
  • Building a welcoming environment for new coming students
  • Examples of good practices of receiving refugees from European countries


  • Adapting content of different subjects for newcomer students
  • Working with bilingual and multilingual students
  • Practical exercises aimed at strengthening newcomer students' self-esteem
  • Practical exercises for increasing tolerance for different cultures in your classroom

Day 4 – THURSDAY     

  • The importance of parental involvement in their children's process of adaptation
  • Adapting to multicultural society; Six hats method
  • Link between migration and early school leaving
  • Strategies for conflict resolution in the classroom

Day 5 – FRIDAY

  • Practical exercises to help the students with special needs
  • Prejudice and stereotype – impediments to tolerance
  • Project – based teaching: My 6 months' plan for tackling the situation of receiving refugees

Days 6/7 – SATURDAY and SUNDAY Workshops and Cultural/Sightseeing Activities

Day 8 – MONDAY

  • Using practical resources for classroom instruction to help the new coming students
  • Identify your own assumptions and prejudices; Learning to accept the ones different that yourself
  • Learning cooperation through the Jigsaw Method: Each member of the group is important


  • Designing classroom activities that will enable newcomers to equally participate in the classroom
  • Improving learning and language skills of the new coming students


  • Feedback, Course Evaluation and Dissemination Focus
  • Awarding certificates of attendance