Story by Kevin Stapleton | Photo courtesy of Oasis Academy Fir Vale
Staff, pupils and parents at a local primary academy in Sheffield celebrated in December, as they become the second school in the area to achieve the title of ‘School of Sanctuary’.
A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.
School Principal Helen Round said: “We are very pleased to win the award. We have worked really hard on developing an effective induction package for our children and families so everyone feels welcome in our school.”
With families in attendance today, the Co-Chair of City of Sanctuary in Sheffield, Craig Barnett, presented the certificate to pupils, with the award being presented to Principal, Helen Round and Parent Partnership Lead, Agnieszka Freeman. After the presentation all pupils and staff took part in a mass carol assembly.
Agnieszka added: “We are so grateful to everyone at Oasis Academy Fir Vale, the families and the community for helping us in achieving this award! We are very proud to become one of the first Schools of Sanctuary in Sheffield – an award that recognises our inclusive and welcoming ethos.”
To gain the ‘School of Sanctuary’ status you must visibly demonstrate that you provide an inclusive space for children, while also establishing an environment that celebrates cultural diversity.