School of Sanctuary
We are absolutely delighted to share with you the great news of Wingrove being awarded School of Sanctuary status. We have always been a school that have welcomed and embraced all people and strongly opposed discrimination. As well as working to continue this, we needed to create awareness among staff and children about why people become refugees, why they needed protection and the difference between them and other migrants. We achieved this by weaving these themes into our existing curriculum and designing it so children explore issues related to refugees and asylum seekers, like studying the book The Other Side of The Truth by Beverley Naidoo, which is about Nigerian political refugees.
We have organised a school-wide Refugee Week and invited in refugee volunteers to speak to both staff and children. Before school closures, Year 6 took part in a musical workshop about sanctuary with guests Charden and Sam. The children discussed sanctuary and wrote lyrics around the theme. Charden said, “My experience working on the Change the Narrative project with Wingrove is that they are a great school. Whenever we went there to run our musical workshops, it always felt like a safe place for both students and teachers. The diversity of their staff and pupils, as well as the presence of therapeutic dogs in the building reinforced that feeling of care and understanding. Wingrove Primary School definitely has great potential of becoming a point of reference for other schools that would like to create a safer and more welcoming environment in the region. It was a pleasure working with you.”
As a member of the Schools of Sanctuary network, we were recently asked to join and support Action Foundation's fun and interactive Paperchain People social media challenge to raise funds for their InterAction Drop-in project, supporting and empowering refugees and asylum seekers in the community. We are planning more activities to celebrate and support this cause so close to our hearts in the near future.
A Day of Welcome
On the Friday before we celebrated Refugee Week (14-20 June 2021), the children and staff joined the national event of A Day of Welcome and came dressed up as their hero. It was very impressive to see pupils costumed as their heroes. We celebrated the day by learning some key facts relating to refugees, tried to understand some of the experiences faced by young asylum seekers and refugees before and after their arrival to the UK and looked at small acts of kindness that promote an ethos of welcome and support for refugees. We raised £236.10, which was donated to Refugee Action, a UK based charity, and they support refugees and people seeking asylum to rebuild their lives. By giving Refugee Action our support, we are putting our hands up as a school and saying that we care about refugees. We then celebrated Refugee Week and the teachers helped children develop a further understanding of refugee experiences based around this year’s theme of ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’. We thank you for your support towards this cause.