Story by Amy Palmer | Photos from Fir Vale Academy
At the liveliest coffee morning I have ever been to, the school community cohesion officer Miss Bibiana and her team of staff and students welcomed parents and visitors to find out more about Fir Vale Academy.
Bibiana was easy to spot as she danced in the middle of the room wearing Asian clothing in celebration of Eid. Throughout the event Roman – a Roma pupil with impressive musical talent – played live music. Visitors exhibited out of school opportunities for the students and while one student tried on firefighting equipment, a big, burly fire officer from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue showed off a henna design he’d had done at another table. Police officers, Firth Park library and Sheffield Futures were also joining in the fun.
Parents and teachers are also fans of the new initiative. Perveen, a parent told me “It’s brilliant, there’s workshops for parents as well” and one teacher explained how she finds it much less rushed than parents’ evening.
The students here are proud of their school, which is investing in them as members of society as well as helping them pass exams. One student, Fadumo Jimaleh, came over to welcome me wearing a ‘young interpreters’ baseball cap and explained to me that the school speaks 44 languages and being a young interpreter is to celebrate that. She enjoys the themed coffee mornings and said, “Last theme was Christmas, which was nice because as a Muslim I don’t celebrate Christmas.” Fadumo also took me to see the memorial garden, which is a quiet space where the pupils can make a patch or ornament to remember a grandparent or someone special to them who has died.
Coffee mornings are held monthly (during term time) so if you’d like to get involved please contact Bibiana Jordan- Horvath on BJordan-Horvath@firvale.com