Ebook shares expertise

Kerri Carr

Fairfield Public wants to share its knowledge of working with refugee students through a new resource available via iTunes

A school with long experience in supporting refugee students has developed a free ebook in the hope that it would assist other schools.

Stories of Courage and Hope, produced by Fairfield Public School, includes stories, drawings and interviews to help teachers and students understand the experiences of refugees, plus hyperlinks to helpful resources.

The stories and drawings in the ebook were created by students in years 5 and 6.

“They’ve managed to do a tremendous job recounting or imagining what it’s like to be a refugee,” principal David Smith said.

“The students are chuffed that their work is [available] in more than 50 countries.”

Mr Smith said the ebook offers good resources for modelling writing because many of the stories were written by students who have had very disrupted schooling and are still learning English. About a third of the school’s students are refugees. He suggests the ebook could be also be used in visual arts and drama contexts.

The ebook contains several two-minute interviews with staff and parents describing their experiences as refugees.

“This ebook is our way of celebrating and promoting the positive contribution refugee families have made on us, the community and the country,” Mr Smith states in the ebook’s foreword.

“It is hoped that this book will help the reader to understand or at least empathise and recognise the contribution refugees can and do make to Australia everyday,” he also states.

Three pages of hyperlinks take the reader to resources to support schools in understanding the refugee process (for example visa classes) and assisting refugees (for example health organisations).

The free ebook for iPads, iPhones and Mac is available for download from the iTunes store.