‘Little Amal’ visit to Kingsway Park High School

Date published: 05 November 2021

Kingsway Park High School welcomed ‘Little Amal’ to the school on Tuesday (2 November), as part of The Walk, an incredible theatrical undertaking led by artistic director Amir Nizar Zuabi.

Amal – which means ’Hope’ in Arabic – is a 3.5m tall puppet created by Good Chance in collaboration with the Handspring Puppet Company and represents child refugees everywhere.

She set off on her 8000km walk on 27 July from Gaziantep in Turkey, visiting Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France before arriving on our shores in October.

During her journey she has met thousands of people, visited many places – and this week she found herself in Rochdale, where she was welcomed by the school and community and introduced to school life in the UK.

Little Amal adapted to school life with ease, taking part in all the activities the students had worked so hard to prepare.

As the guests gathered to welcome her, the curious little girl was busy looking behind the curtains and examining all the displays, but she soon found herself joining in with a music lesson where she made sure her teacher let her have a go on the drum, and a dance lesson where she learned the steps and joined the show.

After some breaktime games, Little Amal joined a language lesson, learning signs to help her communicate easily, and a PE lesson led by the school’s partner, the Manchester United Foundation. She was presented with gifts by visitors from the International School of London and given blankets and cushions for a restful night before going on to her final event in Manchester.

Kingsway Park High School has a long history in welcoming children of all backgrounds and journeys and all at the event were touched by the ‘little’ girl who has come so far in search of her mother.

Students told stories of their journeys before arriving in Rochdale to presenters of Blue Peter and were thrilled to be able to tell Little Amal: “You are welcome here.”

Mrs J Langley, Headteacher of Kingsway Park High School, said: “Little Amal’s visit has meant so much to our school and this community because she represents the search for a home, a community and a sense of belonging that we work so hard to create for all our young people.

“We are in awe of the skill and ambition behind her journey and thrilled to have been a part of it.”

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