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‘Imagine a place where joy has gone’ - north Norfolk Year 5 pupils post letters to MP to ask for help for refugees

PUBLISHED: 16:32 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:32 14 December 2018

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Archant

“Imagine a place where joy has gone, where you starve to death, where you get no healthcare.”

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

These were the words of one of a class of kind-hearted Norfolk primary school pupils, who have put pen to paper to raise awareness about the plight of child refugees across the globe.

While end-of-term activities at schools across the county more often involve paint and Pritt-stick than politics, a class of Year 5 pupils at Reepham Primary have been up to something a little more out of the ordinary.

After reading stories and learning about what life is like for child refugees in places like Afghanistan and Syria, the 31 nine and 10-year-olds have written to Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, to ask him to do more to help.

Year 5 teacher, Charlie Wallis said: “The kids have been really taken with it. We’ve read books and linked to the Christmas story.

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

“One of the things we’ve got to do in Year 5 is writing letters to someone about a real issue.”

“They were really interested so we looked at the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“UINCEF have some great resources and we made posters to explain to the rest of the school what they had learned.”

Mr Wallis said he had seen a change in their level of empathy.

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

He added: “With everything in the news at the moment, they hear these words all the time. It’s really helpful to them to understand.

“We try and deal with these things in a very sensitive way.

“I’ve seen a difference in the children’s empathy and how they respond to how other people feel.

“It’s gone from ‘they might be sad’ to ‘it’s not fair that they’ve got so little and we’ve got so much’.”

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Ilana Bartlette, nine, said: “It has given me an experience with writing I will never forget.”

And 10-year-old Laila Coe said: “I’ve learned about refugees from Afghanistan and Syria and I’m very pleased to be able to possibly change someone’s life.”

Saoirse Kelly, 10, said: “It has made me happy because we are helping others [but] it was also really sad because millions of people have to live as refugees.”

While ten-year-old Molly Hall said she found it “challenging at times knowing what some people have to go through” but had fun writing and posting her letter.

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

And Izzy Henry, also aged 10, said the project had “meant a lot to me” and “made me happy”.

The pupils posted their letters to their MP, on Friday, December 14 and are hoping for a response.

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

Pupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie WallisPupils at Reepham Primary School have written to their MP to ask him to do more to help refugees. Photo: Charlie Wallis

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