Kickstarting their new learning theme of migration, Year 6 students participated in an immersive role play featuring immigration officials, border control officers, Red Cross medical staff and humanitarian aid. Students were provided with a new identity and a narrative to match, with most characters’ lives being less fortunate than those of our Year 6 participants. Such characters included those who have been forced to migrate from their home countries by war, famine or natural disasters. Each classroom was designated as a different ‘nation’ with its own entry requirements and border control officers, whom the students had to pass in order to properly complete their migration. The overall aim of this entry point activity is to develop a greater level of empathy for those who have been displaced in our own global community.
As young global citizens, Year 6 students learned about the challenges of immigrating from a refugee camp, the unattainable entry requirements of desirable third country options and the harsh treatment of migrants in some countries. At the end of the immersive role play, Year 6 students expressed their relief, a true indication of the activity’s impact. While our Year 6 students are fortunate to have their own identities to ‘return to’, they have undoubtedly developed deeper empathy for those who have to face such challenges in real life situations.