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Stepping Stones: Starting Second-Level School in Ireland

A new film and resource to help students make the transition to second-level school has recently been published by City of Dublin VEC.

The film and accompanying teaching resource entitled Stepping Stones: Starting Second-Level School in Ireland was developed by CDVECs Separated Children's Service in order to prepare newly-arrived separated children seeking asylum, many of whom will have had limited experience of formal education in their countries of origin, for school life in Ireland.

A copy of the resource can be downloaded here http://www.separatedchildrenservice.ie/resources

Although primarily desinged for use with asylum seeking, refugee and new migrant students, it can also be used with outgoing 6th class pupils and incoming First Years.

The DVD film may also be used with parents, introducing them to the second-level system and showing them what their young child may expect in school.

More information on the resource

The film and accompanying teaching resource entitled Stepping Stones: Starting Second-Level School in Ireland was developed by CDVECs Separated Children Service in order to prepare newly-arrived separated children seeking asylum, many of whom will have had limited experience of formal education in their countries of origin, for school life in Ireland.

The film was inspired by the experiences of young refugees who arrived in Ireland as teenagers, several of whom actively contributed to the making of the film.

The aim of the film is to show students what a typical school is like and to introduce them to some of the situations they will encounter in school.

Stepping Stones is a film in two parts. Part 1 presents a dramatisation of their first encounters in an Irish school, showing new students what a typical second-level school looks like (e.g. different rooms for different subjects) and introduces the students to some of the people they will encounter (principal, teachers, librarian, classmates).

The second part features interviews with three young people from migrant backgrounds. All three students reflect on their experience of school life, highlighting specific examples of how they have managed to settle in, and giving advice to students on everything from managing homework to making friends.

Regardless of their English language abilities, level of education in their home country, mother tongue, literacy levels, or age, they all share the same concerns about starting school in Ireland - Will I fit in? Will I understand? Will I make friends? Will I succeed?

The themes will resonate with many incoming first year students – feeling lost in a big school, not knowing where to go, making friends, feeling overwhelmed by work, and getting support from teachers.

The resource can be accessed online at www.separatedchildrenservice.ie