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Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird

Knowledge Organiser for Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird

A PDF copy of the Knowledge Organiser

Week One


We have explored the places where the book is set and the context of the story. 


We discussed what we learnt from reading Oranges in no man's land last year and how this knowledge can help us to understand the context of the new story.


Discussing new vocabulary and practising how and when to use it accurately will also support our understanding of the text.

Week Two

We had some fantastic letters written to Boris Johnson questioning if we are doing enough for refugees.  We linked our learning back to when we did Outright in 2017 with Paddington and our reading of 'Oranges in no Man's land' from the summer term. 

We explored the statistics but also how we might not be able to accept more but we should not stop exploring how we could possibly help.  We do not know the answers, but as humans, we owe it to all to care and have compassion for others.  We used the sentence How will history view us, and our treatment of today's refugees? from the opening of the book 'Welcome to Nowhere' to begin our discussion. Here are two examples:


Dear Prime Minister

I know you are very busy with Brexit, but please could you read this letter.  I am writing to you to discuss refugees in the UK and how they suffer.


As you will be aware, we only take in 7% of refugees whereas Germany they take in 26%.  Surely there is something we can do to help.  How will history view us, and our treatment of today's refugees? Can we do more?


Can't we take in more?  I don't know the answer but surely as Prime Minister you should know what to do?


What would you do if you had to flee your home with only a small bag and know you could never go back?


Your sincerely 



Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to tell you to reconsider the percentage policy on refugees we take in.  Look at Germany, they take in 26% and we only take 7%.


I do not know the answer but you're the Prime Minister.  How will history view us, and our treatment of today's refugees?


I don't know how we could help but it is possible, we might not be able to take in more than 7% but let's try something.


How would you feel if you had to flee your home with only the belongings you could carry?


Yours sincerely 


Holding a webinar with the teachers from Beirut who will be visiting us on the 23rd September. I shared with them the learning that has been taking place in Class Three and how we have lots of questions. They have both experienced the civil war and are eager to share their experiences and answer pupils' questions to allow them to deepen their understanding of the setting of the book.

Our friends from Lebanon answered our questions about what it was like to live through a civil war.

A comment from Haytham really struck a chord - when asked about what happened when bombs started to fall, he recalled when he was half way through an exam and they had to get into a shelter where he then continued his exam. What he was doing there and then, was his weapon.  To have an education is what he could use as a weapon in the future rather than a gun or bomb.  The power of an education.

Chapter Two

We read and discussed chapter two - how Musa has earned 'grudging respect' from his bullies and the difficulties that he faces.  In contrast, Omar fails to understand the enormity of what is happening and is focused on the being the last to know and how he won't be able to sell postcards anymore.  The author has set the scene for the story and the complexities of the characters at the centre.