Staff, pupils and parents at a local primary academy in Sheffield are celebrating today as they become the second school in the area to be awarded as being a ‘School of Sanctuary’.
Oasis Academy Fir Vale in Sheffield is the second ever school in Sheffield after Oasis Academy Watermead to be named as a ‘School of Sanctuary’ by the nationwide City of Sanctuary movement.
A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.
Helen Round, Principal of Oasis Academy Fir Vale, commented on the award saying; “We are very pleased to win the award. We have worked really hard on developing an effective induction package for our children and families so everyone feels welcome in our school.”
With families in attendance today, the Co-Chair of City of Sanctuary in Sheffield Craig Barnett presented the certificate to pupils, with the award being presented to Principal, Helen Round and Parent Partnership Lead, Agnieszka Freeman. After the presentation all pupils and staff took part in a mass carol assembly.
Agnieszka Freeman, Parent Partnership Lead at Oasis Academy Fir Vale, added; “We are so grateful to everyone at Oasis Academy Fir Vale, the families and the community for helping us in achieving this award! We are very proud to become one of the first Schools of Sanctuary in Sheffield - award that recognises our inclusive and welcoming ethos.”
To gain the ‘School of Sanctuary’ status you must visibly demonstrate that you provide an inclusive space for children while also establishing an environment that celebrates cultural diversity, and Oasis Academy Fir Vale have done just that.
The academy supports its pupils, staff and the wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.