On 29 June, CoS UK hosted a webinar “What is a School of Sanctuary?“ which provided an overview of the Schools of Sanctuary Stream, and showcased some examples of how schools have expressed welcome and solidarity with refugees in their settings. Nearly 60 attendees, including teachers, heads and CoS volunteers and partners from across the UK, attended the online event.
Sara Trewhitt, SoS lead at CoS UK, opened the webinar with SoS 2021 Presentation about how a school can be recognised with a sanctuary award, outlining the process, criteria and rationale for the award.
Several current Schools of Sanctuary shared their experience of becoming involved with City of Sanctuary, and what the process has meant for their school community. We were kept to time by primary school teacher Jake Rose-Brown and his trusty sand-clock!
The topics & speakers included:
- “Learning about local migration histories to engage students, families and the community” (Jake Rose-Brown, Norwich SoS)
- “Learning and Sharing with Students, Staff and Families” (Victoria Kirkman at Outwood Primary Academy Greystone, Ripon, North Yorkshire)
- “Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment in School” (Hannah McHale at All Hallows, Salford) Presentation is available here.
- “Student Voice and Family Engagement” (Marta Tildesley at St Mary’s CE Primary, Lewisham)
- “The Importance of Schools of Sanctuary from the perspective of a sanctuary seeker” Charden Wakanda shared his thoughts and perspective as someone who is newly arrived into the UK, and what working with schools in the Northeast of England has meant for him.
CoS UK is deeply grateful to all the speakers and attendees for participating in the rich, lively discussion.