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Although our doors are open to all children and young people of a disadvantaged background, we are particularly focused on supporting students of a refugee background.
Homesickness, culture shock and isolation are only some of the feelings a recently arrived refugee might be feeling in Australia, not to mention any grief or shock associated with traumatic events in their recent past.
One of the larger challenges facing people migrating to live in Australia, is learning English. Prior to arrival many adults and young people may have had little or severely disrupted educations, with minimal formal schooling. Young people arriving as refugees find it especially difficult meeting academic requirements in Australia, as they are thrust into the education system with English as their second, third or even fourth language.
As a result of their background, many students in the Edmund Rice Homework & Learning Clubs are lacking some of the fundamental building blocks of literacy and numeracy, which are often taken for granted in Australian schools. However, we have found that the large majority of these students seeking educational support are enthusiastic, self-motivated learners, and that with consistent attendance at Homework Club / Tutoring Sessions, significant progress is made. Like all young people, they respond willingly to encouragement, positive affirmation and a welcoming atmosphere.