Holy Spirit is hoping to become a School of Sanctuary
What is a School of Sanctuary?
A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary. It is a space for those whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space they can feel safe.
A School of Sanctuary is a school that helps its students, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal valued members of the school community. It is a school that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all.
Why are we becoming a School of Sanctuary?
At Holy Spirit, we are extremely proud to be working towards becoming accredited as a School of Sanctuary. We are committed to learning and understanding what it means to be seeking sanctuary and the difficulties asylum seekers and refugees face. Our curriculum ensures that there are opportunities to learn, understand and take actions around the themes of human rights as well as diversity, inclusion, refuge and migration.
How do we become a School of Sanctuary?
There are three simple principles to being a School of Sanctuary:
- Learn about what it means to be seeking sanctuary.
- Take positive action to embed concepts of welcome, safety and inclusion within your school and the wider community.
- Share your vision and achievements – be proud!
Holy Spirit's Journey So Far
Year 5 met , Kama, a Nepalese refugee, who shared his journey, customs and traditions. The whole school were extremely moved when Mohammed came to school to talk about his plight from Syria. As part of our commitment to Rights Respecting Schools, we learnt all about the perilous journeys refugees have to make to find sanctuary. During Refugee Week, the curriculum was dedicated to learning all about refugees and asylum seekers and how we can provide them with warmth, welcome and sanctuary.
Take Positive Action
School Council have organised a series of fundraising and awareness events throughout the year to embed the concepts of welcome and safety within our school. These events including 'Bake for Syria', a whole school cake sale during Advent; sponsored activities during Lent to raise funds for CAFOD's 'Share My Journey' campaign and Pentecostal celebrations involving collecting donations for Christian Aid's 'Syria Refugee Crisis' appeal. Very kindly, some members of Year 4 made and sold loom bands and donated the profits to Family Refugee Support Project. Throughout the year , we have shared the changes to our curriculum through shared displays and reflection areas.
Throughout the year we have celebrated our achievements and vision with the wider community. Year 1 delivered a wonderfully inclusive assembly about welcoming all, whilst Year 5 performed an incredibly poignant assembly full of poetry, drama and music linked to the refugee crisis. Year 6 worked with MEAS to hold an afternoon tea event, where parents and members of the local community were invited to learn more about School of Sanctuary. The whole school held an open morning and invited parents and carers to join them in their learning to show how our curriculum is developing as we become a School of Sanctuary. We are always keen to share our learning through regular tweets which you can view by clicking here.