We were delighted to be awarded 'School of Sanctuary' status in June 2021. School of Sanctuary is a growing network of more than 300 primary and secondary schools all committed to supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, creating a culture of welcome and inclusion whilst raising awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers, and all those who need a safe place.
We began the process by carrying out an audit and seeking the input of our pupils, staff and the wider school community before formulating an action plan to make our school as inclusive and welcoming as possible. Some actions taken included ordering new, diverse and welcoming signage, creating an accessible 'Welcome Booklet,' investing in Seesaw for Schools to enable accessibility for children and parents with a first language other than English, and placing significant emphasis on Mental Health and wellbeing across the curriculum.
We are delighted to have embarked on this journey and look forward to continuing our work in this area in the coming years.
Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. This year's theme was 'We cannot walk alone.' All classes from P1-P7 celebrated the week with a series of lessons exploring ideas such as 'needs' and 'wants,' the reasons for seeking sanctuary, the difficulties faced along the way and practical action we can take to support refugees and asylum seekers in our school and community. For more information, visit https://refugeeweek.org.uk/
P6 took part in the Tools For Solidarity ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ programme. It encouraged children to be more conscious of their own actions and to begin to think critically. During the course of sessions, pupils focused on:
•links between Poverty, Inequality and Exploitation of Natural Resources;
We created a video to share with our partner schools about Christmas traditions in Northern Ireland. We also watched the super videos and presentations created by our friends across Europe. We did not know there were so many ways to celebrate!
P3 carried out a collaborative project with Zespól Szkól in Plonsk, Poland. They compared Polish and Northern Irish Christmas traditions and exchanged Christmas cards.
P7 are really enjoying putting their French into practice by exchanging pen-pal letters with their friends at École Maxime Quévy. They particularly loved the French treats sent by our partner school! We are very impressed by their hard work and enthusiasm!