School of Sanctuary
What is a School of Sanctuary?
A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary. It is a space for those whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for space where they can feel safe.
A School of Sanctuary is a school that helps its students, 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.
Why become a School of Sanctuary?
We are proud to be working towards becoming accredited as a School of Sanctuary. We are committed to ensuring that our students learn and understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and the difficulties asylum seekers and refugees face.
Our curriculum ensures that there are opportunities to learn, understand and take actions around the themes of human rights as well as diversity, inclusion, refuge and migration.
Who is involved in the School of Sanctuary?
Working towards becoming a School of Sanctuary involves the whole school:
- Governors are fully supportive of our commitment as a school community to work towards School of Sanctuary status
- Staff are involved both as subject leaders and middle leaders in the delivery of an excellent curriculum which supports this ethos
- We listen to requests and ideas from our families to enrich the curriculum
- Parents are informed of the work surrounding the School of Sanctuary accreditation via the website and the App on a regular basis
- We are also developing ways to engage the wider community
- We hold special themed timetabled days to focus specifically on learning about refugees and asylum seekers
EAL - English as an Additional Language
At Blueberry Park Primary School we aim to ensure that we meet all the needs of the children who are learning English as an additional language.
We value and welcome the cultural, linguistic and educational experiences that pupils with EAL bring to the school. Our aim is to help pupils become confident and fluent in speaking, listening, reading and writing in the English language in order to fulfil their academic potential.
Our EAL learners come from very diverse backgrounds. Some arrive seeking asylum, whilst others follow families coming to the UK as economic migrants or for other reasons.
EAL learners also include those who were born in the UK speaking a language other than English. When a new pupil arrives in the school, they are settled into their new class and carefully guided through their first days as sometimes this can be quite daunting.
We match them with a 'buddy' who speaks their home language, wherever possible.
Our EAL Buddies have had a training session with Gill Rowlands from EMTAS (Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service). They discussed what qualities a Buddy needs to have. Gill discussed the many different reasons why families have had to leave their homes. The children talked about how mew children may be feeling and how they could make them feel welcome.