The Boat story and imagery has been designed to open a dialogue with children between the ages of six and 11, on the subject of immigration. With a relatable narrative, teachers and parents are provided with a context in which approaches can be designed and developed, to build comprehension skills of empathy, questioning, inference and evaluation.

Resources accompanying the book are available and free to download and reproduce here – these exercises have been created by a number of experienced primary school teachers and developed with children in their own classrooms. Children can engage with facts about the experiences of refugees and use this purposeful context to explore their understanding of a difficult but important subject.


"This activity has really helped my class to understand some of the potential issues and fears that refugees face in their journey to safety." Ali Roberts, Year 6 teacher

"Taking part in the drama helped me to understand what it might be like to travel as a refugee."Year 6 pupil

"I found it really interesting empathising with the refugees." Year 6 pupil

"I found the entire project inspiring 'The Boat' allowed us to touch upon an important yet delicate issue." Victoria Laker, KS2 leader, Winnall Primary School, UK


Department of Education, Health and Social Care primary student teachers from the University of Winchester were paired with a selection of Hampshire primary school teachers. Their task was to undertake research and development to inform The Boat story narrative and to develop learning and teaching resources. Feedback from this stage has heavily influenced the direction The Boat story has taken.

If you have an enquiry about our teaching resources, please get in touch


Jonathan Rooke

As Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Education at Winchester Universtity, UK, Jonathan works closely with teaching students and county primary schools and has a number of publications, reports and articles on children's writing in education.

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