School of Sanctuary

 

As a school we are committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all and engaging with the local community to promote these values. With this in mind, we became a School of Sanctuary in 2017.

Part of the City of Sanctuary movement, Schools of Sanctuary is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the good practice of schools who welcome asylum seeking and refugee families and foster a culture of welcome and inclusion for all.

Schools of Sanctuary help their pupils, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.

Our school was instrumental in launching Norwich Schools of Sanctuary and is the hub of a network of local schools committed to responding positively to the refugee crisis across the globe and supporting local refugee communities.

Currently twelve schools in the county have been recognised with the award and we were proud to host the launch event in June 2017 at which ourselves and 6 other schools were awarded this status by Clive Lewis MP.

To date we are very proud to have achieved so much in our journey to become a School of Sanctuary. Our achievements have  included:

  • Hosting the Norwich Schools of Sanctuary launch event at which Clive Lewis MP awarded the first seven schools in the county their Schools of Sanctuary status
  • Raising more than £1500 to purchase new mattresses for 14 families fleeing the Syrian war to resettle in Norwich
  • Each class in school making a card to welcome the Syrian families to our community
  • A very active Refugee Week including History lessons, as well as PSHE, exploring Norwich’s rich history as a city of sanctuary
  • Working with BBC voices to make a short documentary about our school’s journey to become a School of Sanctuary
  • The filming of 5B’s class poem written in response to Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem We Refugees
  • The development of bespoke workshops and school trips with local organisations such as Norwich Writers’ Centre, Strangers’ Hall, The Friendship and Norfolk Record Office
  • The establishment of a Refugee Action Group at school with more than 40 members
  • The creation of a website for Norwich Schools of Sanctuary
  • The creation of Arabic-English resources for the nursery that hosts the infants of the resettled Syrian families
  • Organising and taking part in Norwich Schools of Sanctuary Showcase
  • Raising funds during Refugee Week for Help Refugees
  • Our pupils and Mr Brown giving a lecture about Schools of Sanctuary too trainee teachers at the University of East Anglia
  • Each class in 2017-18 named after a displaced person who the children learn about.

 

We are also the lead school in the Norfolk Welcomes initiative - a day of learning in schools across Norfolk that helps pupils understand the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers and builds a culture of welcome in our communities. In the inaugural year in 2018, 62 schools took part. Find out more here.

All these projects required the hard work, generosity skills and dedication of countless people in our school community. It was a real community effort!

We have many exciting plans for this year and hope that, as last year, our parents, staff, pupils and wider school community will pull together and work towards building a culture of welcome and inclusion in our school, in our community and in our city.

If you would like to find our more or get involved please visit the website www.norwichschoolsofsanctuary.org or contact Mr Brown at info@norwichschoolsofsanctuary.org

Supporting local refugee communities – volunteering opportunities in Norwich