Clyro, Hay On Wye and Llangorse Primary schools have applied to become Schools of Sanctuary and have been starting to gather the evidence to show that they are welcoming and inclusive schools who have learnt , embedded and shared information about Sanctuary seeking. They need to show that there Is a place of welcome for all, that they educate pupils about why people are forcibly displaced,that they recognise that the UK is enriched by new arrivals and that they support pupils from all backgrounds to feel seen, supported and included.
It is suggested that working towards becoming a School of Sanctuary provides schools with a focus for meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and
• Imaginative re-engagement with required curriculum areas such literacy, language arts, geography, history, humanities
• Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education and ‘British Values’
• Building a school culture that reduces intolerance, hate speech and bullying
• Increasing pupil voice and promoting active & engaged citizenship
• Engaging families and strengthening the school’s role in the local community
• Improving the provision of English as an additional language in school
• Helping improve pupil outcomes and attendance – students that feel safe and included will be more likely to attend schools
• Promoting well-being & community cohesion by building empathetic school environments.
The new Welsh Curriculum has provided a great opportunity to do things differently and our local schools seem to be embracing this. Eg instead of just teaching about the second World War and evacuation they have put this into context with talking about more recent wars and reasons for migration and seeking refuge. City of Sanctuary have a Welsh resource section
This term our local asylum seeking man visited 4 schools to talk about African geography, history and culture and compare and contrast this with Welsh life. Our friend Otis also visited 4 schools to talk about his asylum journey and to let pupils join in with some drumming. Ailsa visited various schools to talk about HBTSR and seeking sanctuary.
Yet again this year local primary schools have been very generous in supporting HBTSR by donating children’s Christmas gifts for sanctuary seeking children in Swansea. Val, Tim, Ailsa and Lawrence were able to take to Swansea over 180 individual gifts that will be distributed by Unity in Diversity and Swansea Asylum Seeker’s Support before Christmas.
Here are some examples of work being done on the theme of sanctuary in Llangorse school. Some of the images were taken at an open afternoon for the community to visit and see the work that had been done.
Comments from some of the visitors
‘WOW – what amazing images & thoughts – really moving & encouraging that the next generation may be more compassionate & have more insight than the present one. ‘
The children were obviously deeply engaged, talking knowledgeably & enthusiastically of what they had learned. I found the drama & some of the striking art images particularly moving.
It’s wonderful that schools are addressing this subject matter so positively & sympathetically – gives great hope that future generations may be more understanding & compassionate to those seeking sanctuary in UK.
Happy Christmas to you all – enjoy your well deserved break!’