22 Jun 2020

Rough sleepover

International Option 5ème pupils participated in the “Sleep rough so that others don’t have to” project as part of the geography chapter on poverty and citizenship programme on Humanitarian aid.

Project planning

They met with Rachel Cullen, Community Manager at Simon Community.

So far, more than £1000 have been raised for the Simon community association. Please help and donate here.

Friday 19 June, more than 40 pupils were on a Zoom session, live from their kitchen or garden to participate in a Rough Sleepover and to experience the challenge of being homeless.

Their Feedback

Perrine B.

I didn’t sleep very well. I often woke up because my sister would move and then I would move and wake her up. We slept in our sleeping bags so it was very comfortable! At 1 am, I woke up and I was quite cold.

I realise that for homeless people, they often have to sleep in uncomfortable places and often be very tired in the morning. 

Leila B.                                                                   

I actually slept very well, since I don’t mind sleeping on the ground that much, and I never sleep with a pillow anyways. I did wake up earlier than usual, but it wasn’t because I was uncomfortable, it was simply because of the light coming from the windows and a neighbour’s piano playing.

Even though I did have a hard time finding a comfortable position, it wasn’t very different than usual, since I always spend a very long time doing so normally.

I can’t say that I understood the challenges homeless people face in the long run, but based on other people’s answers I do understand a bit more what homeless people have to go through.

Gustave T.

I have slept outside before in the mountains, it was during autumn holidays and the night was very cold. I also had a summer sleeping bag. This time, I was in my living room so it was much more comfortable ! However, my siblings play in the living room regularly, so I woke up with lots of legos and playmobils around me. It was very quiet and comfortable because I am used to sleeping bags. 

Capucine D.

I already slept many times in a sleeping bag so it wasn’t really a surprise for me. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night but I woke up earlier than usual. I slept well. However, sleeping  like this for many years outside, when it’s raining or very cold, must be very difficult. I realise that for homeless people it must be difficult to sleep properly with all the noises of the street/road. It can also be scary to sleep while others are passing by and watching you sleep uncomfortably. 

Satsuki L. B.

I also slept surprisingly well, even though my neck is very sore. I realize that for homeless people, it must be hard to live on the street, and they must be sore all over every day. I woke up at around 7am, which has almost never happened to me on the weekend.

Selma B.

Surprisingly, I slept very well ! I don’t mind where I sleep at all and am comfortable sleeping anywhere, so sleeping on the ground didn’t bother me. I wasn’t cold, even though I only had a very light bed sheet, since, during holidays, my family and I have slept many times in the Saharan desert, where at night, it’s much colder than here. I was also surprised to see that I found a comfortable position to sleep in quicker than usual. I did wake up earlier than usual, but it was only because of the light coming from the windows and because one of our neighbours was playing the piano. Even though I did sleep well, I have to acknowledge the fact that I had a roof under my head, a comfortable yoga mat, clean and warm clothes, and I slept in a more or less warm house. However, homeless people don’t have any of that. They also have to deal with fear, hunger and bad weather. But though I slept well last night, the Sleep Rough project helped me experience and understand a small parcel of what homeless people experience every day.

Noé M.

Last night I didn’t sleep too well because there were foxes playing in our garden and we were in the kitchen so we could hear everything. Also, I slept with nothing but a thin yoga mat that was too short and my sleeping bag wasn’t very warm. Today I woke up with a few cramps but then I was feeling much better. I realise that for homeless people, it must be very difficult to be living on the streets, being cold and uncomfortable all the time and no one caring about you and ignoring you. This sleep rough project was a very good idea and it helped me understand the circumstances that a homeless person has to face every day.

Raphaël B.

Last night I fell asleep quite quickly. I must’ve been cold, or in my sleep I had knocked something down and a noise woke me at 3:30. I lied there for about an hour and a half.

Finally, at 5, I had enough and went back to my bed. I found it quite cool sleeping in a sleeping bag. It was quite comfortable, actually. I realise that homeless people mustn’t have great nights, and wake up a lot in the middle of the night. It’s a nice experience, but not really one I’d like to try again.

Lise D.

I couldn’t really find a comfortable position, so it took me a few hours to fall asleep. Also, when I woke up in the middle of the night, my neck and back were hurting and I couldn’t really sleep with the cold floor touching my feets. I realise that for homeless people, it must be difficult to have a good night sleep and in the long term, some might have problems with their back or neck. This experience was really helpful to understand what homelessness people are going through, even though it was only for one day and under a roof.

Eda C.

I had trouble falling asleep due to the noises in the kitchen. The sleeping bag was also a bit small so I was very uncomfortable. The hard floor wasn’t a problem though. I also woke up earlier than usual (around 5) and noticed I caught a cold. I was calm at first but developed a bad mood later on during the day.

Nourine A. N.

I did my sleep rough experience in Camille Hewitson-Laborde’s back garden! At first we tried sleeping without a tent, on the grass, and it was very beautiful because we could see the stars and trees in the wind… I wasn’t cold at all because I had a sleeping bag and a jumper and the air was actually quite warm, and I was very comfortable. The problem was that the neighbours were having a party next door, so they were playing very loud music and talking very loudly. The other problem was that since we were doing it during the summer (and just one day before the summer solstice!), the sky was never completely dark and there was actually quite a lot of light coming to our eyes, especially because of the light pollution in London. So we couldn’t sleep well and we kept waking up! We then decided to go into a tent so that less light would come through and it was much better! We woke up at 4:40 AM because we had set an alarm to be able to see the sun rise, but we ended up watching it for a bit but then going back to sleep directly. We then woke up around 8:30. 

To conclude, I didn’t sleep very well and kept waking up because of the light and the noise around me, but I was very comfortable and warm. I woke up feeling a bit dirty, but had a great day afterwards in the countryside! 

I realise that for homeless people, it must be extremely difficult to go to sleep and rest well because of the noise all around them, especially with people partying around them or cars on a big road. It must also be hard for them to sleep with all the light around them and the flashiness of a city. And in the winter, it must be extremely cold therefore making it even harder to sleep. They therefore wake up feeling grumpy and sad, with the burden of being homeless another day and the shame they could experience. 

I think this was an amazing experience to have, as we have the privilege to not have to go through these things. I have always wanted to do more things for the poor and homeless and I am super happy and grateful to Miss Killick for organising this for us. Along with the experience, we also helped the people in need.

Elettra Z.

I slept on the floor of my room. It was pretty comfortable and I had no problem falling asleep. I did wake up a few times in the middle of the night at around 3:00 am and 5:00 am. But when I woke up my neck hurt . But otherwise the experience was great and I had fun. 

Louise G.

I slept outside on the grass because we were 5 children so it was a little bit difficult to fit in the tent so I slept outside the tent with one of my friends under the stars. I slept well but it was cold even if I had a jumper and a sleeping bag. It was also very wet because of the rain that had fell a bit before we went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night around 3:00 am to fix my sleeping bag because it was not keeping me warm at all. Then I went back to sleep and finally woke up at 6:30 am as this is a normal time for me to wake up at. The experience was fun as it was only for one night but I think that sleeping there all the time would not be a great and fun thing to do. 

Mélanie B.

I slept on Milana’s terrace, I actually slept surprisingly well. Although it was cold, we  had jumpers and sleeping bags. As we are in summer it is day very early, so we woke up at around 4:45 and ended up sleeping again later. It was overall an interesting and fun experience for one night but I understand that sleeping rough every night would be difficult and tiring. 

Camille J.

I tried sleeping on my kitchen floor, unfortunately all the small noises kind of frightened me and I’m sure there’s à mouse in there somewhere. I moved to the living room where it wasn’t much better, my back hurt and my neck too I made a last attempt and moved to another room where I fell asleep at 2 am. Overall I didn’t enjoy the experience but it made me realise in which conditions some people are living.

Eren U.

I made a makeshift tent out of cardboard in my living room and slept there with a light sleeping bag and the living room was too hot.

I did not sleep well and my back and neck hurt a lot after my sleep. I think as I was so uncomfortable, I couldn’t wake up until about 7 am. Somehow I fell asleep right after the zoom. This project made me realise how hard it is for homeless people to sleep rough and we only experienced a small amount of what they go through, not including:

The noise, lights, people, weather, rain, wind, cold, the emotional impact such as the fear, the loneliness and uncertainty.

I wouldn’t survive as I was drained all day from 1 night sleep on the floor but they go through this 24/7.

Mrs Killick

I didn’t sleep well and kept waking up. I didn’t mind the hard floor (at least for a night) but missed my pillow! I was also very conscious of all the unfamiliar sounds in my kitchen, especially the steady dripping of the leaky tap in my sink, not to mention the smell of the nearby bin. I woke up tired and a little grumpy.

I realise that for homeless people, it must be difficult to…(I don’t want to write something you may want to say yourself).

L’objectif de l’option internationale est de permettre aux élèves de troisième de passer passer le brevet des collèges avec l’option internationale – l’examen final consiste en deux oraux – un en anglais sur la langue anglais et la littérature, l’autre en histoire-géographie.

Il est enseigné dans la logique et le développement du bilinguisme pratiqué au CFBL