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School for Syrian refugees gets a helping hand

Published on 15/11/18

Staff from Jane Austen College have shared their knowledge with teachers at a new school in the Lebanon for Syrian refugees.

Jane Austen principal David Thomas and teachers Josie Kielstra and Tom Carter travelled to Beqaa Valley, Lebanon in October to help with teacher training for the Madjal Anjar School, which will welcome 700 students from age five to 12 when it opens on November 19.

The school, near the border between the Lebanon and Syria, is close to the town of Bar Elias which is home to almost 400,000 Syrians who have fled the devastating civil war in their own country.

The charity Basmeh & Zeitoonah, which organised the visit, works with refugees in community projects such as education and emergency relief.

The Jane Austen teachers saw more of the organisation’s work at a sports project in the nearby Shatila refugee camp, with over 100 children taking part in a cricket tournament.

Mr Carter said: “We had an amazing time, and learned a lot from the teachers as well as sharing our own strategies with them.

“They are going to do a fantastic job in their school and we wish them the best of luck.”

Jane Austen College was one of the first schools in the UK to be awarded School of Sanctuary status in 2017, officially recognising it as a safe place for all students, including refugees fleeing conflict or persecution.