With the cut of a ribbon and a grand party, Astrea Academy Sheffield was declared officially open on Tuesday 1st October.
Solicitor and community activist Abtisam Mohamed was invited as the key note speaker, and in a post on Facebook she shared a small snippet from her speech on the day:
“Schools in areas of deprivation can only succeed when they understand their demographic and embed themselves into the area – not through a glass window but by listening and empathising with the lived experience of young people. It is only when we listen can our actions truly change:
- Listen to the child who lost their neighbour in an unprovoked knife related incident who may now suddenly start to present with challenging behaviour
- Listen to the child who is being bullied because of their weight and now doesn’t want to do PE
- Listen to the young person who yawns or forgets to wear his tie because he was up all night reassuring his young brother listening to his father scream all night at their mother
“To truly listen is a skill. To act on and address what you hear is compassion. It was compassion that I remembered 20 years later.
“Young people WILL bring in their lived experience to the classroom. Poor behaviour is always a manifestation of other adverse experiences which CAN be addressed when there is the will to do so. Just by listening and being compassionate we will have the capacity to shape lives.”