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Refugee Week

Swallow's Kiss end papers.jpg

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. In Islington, we worked with local partner organisations and artists to mark the week-long festival and celebrate our community in Islington. Although this funded project is now finished, we wanted to celebrate the work we created as a partnership.

Refugee Week book list

Artists in residence: Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray

Sita and Jane were artists in residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, and the stories from the creative and inspiring people there sparked the idea for their title, Swallow's Kiss, one of Pop Up Project's 10 Stories to Make a Difference. Jane and Sita joined us during Refugee Week 2021 for a creative session that included a special reading from Swallow's Kiss, from Sandra, who belongs to the Islington Centre, an activity, and a Q&A, with questions from Islington pupils. The event was designed for year groups 5, 6 and 7, but open to all.

Watch our online session with Sita and Jane

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Make your wish birds you will need:

  • Download and print the activity sheet here.
  • Print the 'bird and wing templates' on coloured card, thicker than paper, but thin enough to go through the printer, and cut them out.
  • A selection of patterned paper and coloured paper- ideally plain on one side so that you can write on it- wrapping paper is good for this purpose.
  • White and black sticky dots for the birds' eyes (not essential, you can use a felt tip)
  • Paper straws
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Sticky tape 
  • Felt pens
  • Pencils

You can also see more of the beautiful art work by the clients of the Islington Centre.

Watch Sandra's reading of Swallow's Kiss

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Shadow Puppets with Little Angel Puppet Theatre

Little Angel Puppet Theatre joined us during Refugee Week 2021 to run a digital shadow puppetry workshop based on The Journey, by Francesca Sanna, a beautiful picture book that follows the journey of a refugee family fleeing war in their hometown to find safety. Follow along with the session to make your own shadow puppets and retell the story! You can watch the recording of the session via YouTube below. Best suited for year groups 5, 6 and 7, but open to all.

Watch our online shadow puppet workshop with Little Angel Puppet Theatre

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To make shadow puppets you will need:

  • 1 piece of white A4 paper per pupil (to draw initial designs)
  • 1 piece of thin A4 black card per pupil
  • Coloured cellophane/tissue paper scraps (to make translucent/transparent coloured inserts)
  • Rods- options are wooden BBQ skewers, wooden chopsticks, green garden sticks- at least enough for two per pupil.
  • Sticky tape, or if possible self-adhesive Velcro
  • Split pins/paper fasteners- at least enough for one per pupil
  • White/pale coloured pencils
  • Scissors

Before the workshop

  • The book we have chosen is The Journey by Francesca Sanna. Please read the story with your class before viewing the workshop recording. There is a YouTube reading here.
  • Decide with your pupils which puppet they would like to make. This is to save time in the workshop, but also, you might like to ensure all the characters and settings are covered if you plan to do a full retelling of the story afterwards (see below).

After the workshop

  • You might like to work on performances with the puppets you have made, to retell the story. You could do this as a whole class, or split the story into 'scenes', each told by a smaller group.
  • If you plan on retelling the story, think about having a screen and light source available. Screens could be a plain white sheet or shower curtain. These can be pegged on a washing line set up and held down with something heavy on the floor, draped over upturned tables or even more simply held up by fellow pupils. Screens should be pulled as taught as possible. Light sources can include angle poise table/reading lamps, OHP's, wide beam torches or even mobile phone torches. LED bulbs give a cleaner light.  

You can find more resources and activities on Little Angel's website here, and more videos including short puppet films and making ideas on their YouTube channel here.

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