School of Sanctuary
We are proud to announce that Arbourthorne Community Primary School is a designated School of Sanctuary.
What is a School of Sanctuary?
A School of Sanctuary is a school that helps its pupils, 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.
Arbourthorne Community Primary School is committed to being a welcoming and safe place for all. We are not just a sanctuary for those whose lives were in danger in their own country, but to all pupils who are experiencing difficulties at home or are just needing a place to feel secure and safe. We feel that we provide a nurturing environment for our children, and that we take time to ensure we are doing all we can for our children in order that they feel settled and happy.
What has inspired us to apply for School of Sanctuary status?
Arbourthorne Community Primary School is an inclusive school which welcomes children and families from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. The process of applying to be a School of Sanctuary allowed us to focus on the particular experience of arriving at school as a refugee or asylum seeker.
We are committed to ensuring that our children and families, staff and the community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and the struggles asylum seekers and refugees face. We extend a warm welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of our school community.
What is a refugee?
A refugee is someone who has been forced to leave their country due to persecution, war or violence.
What is an asylum seeker?
An asylum seeker is someone seeking international protection because their country is unsafe.
In July 2019, Rodrigo Edema from City of Sanctuary helped us to launch our whole school application towards becoming a designated School of Sanctuary.
He shared his story of becoming a refugee with the children and teachers and helped to start a conversation in school about welcoming those who have fled their homeland.
- Children are beginning to understand what it means to be a refugee and continue to care for their friends at school.
- Governors are fully supportive of our commitment to promote positive attitudes towards all minority groups within our school.
- Staff are delivering an excellent curriculum which supports this ethos and helps our children foster awareness and understanding of the cultural contexts within which they and others live.
- Parents are invited to share in our ambition to become a school of sanctuary.
What are the key principles of being 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 school and the wider community.
- Share your vision and achievements – be proud!
In September 2007, Sheffield became the first ‘City of sanctuary’. Its aim is to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK and create a network of places throughout the country, which are proud to be places of safety for people seeking sanctuary and helping them integrate into their local communities.
See this website: https://schools.cityofsanctuary.org/ for more information.
We are very proud to be applying to become part of such a positive and welcoming network. We would welcome any suggestions or ideas parents may have as we continue our School of Sanctuary journey.
Please contact Ms Griggs, Ms Langley or Mrs Pediani for more information or support.