As part of our ongoing work to provide a welcome and inclusive environment for all children and school community members, Elm Grove has applied to renew our ‘Schools of Sanctuary’ Award for the academic year 2023 – 2024.
To kick-start our journey, we recently signed the following pledge to demonstrate our commitment:
“We support the ‘City of Sanctuary’ vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all and proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution. We endorse the City of Sanctuary Charter, and agree to act in accordance with City of Sanctuary values and apply the network principles within our work (as far as our specific context enables us to). We recognise the contribution of people seeking sanctuary. Sanctuary seekers are welcomed, included and supported within our context. We expect our branches or local groups (if any) to support their local City of Sanctuary group if one exists, and will facilitate contact between them and their local City of Sanctuary group.”
Elm Grove now appears on the list of supporting organisations on the City of Sanctuary webpage – https://data.cityofsanctuary.org/supporting-organisations. As part of this process, we will be working to raise awareness of those seeking sanctuary as refugees or asylum seekers. We will focus on increasing our representation of sanctuary seekers and including age-appropriate refugee experiences in our curriculum wherever possible.
Beyond lessons, we aspire to further engage pupils (through age-appropriate pupil voice, for example through discussions with the school council) and any interested parents or carers, in order to increase recognition and to collaborate on meaningful additions we can make to our provision. This integrated approach will help us to further embed the concept of welcome and inclusion for all in our school community. We will celebrate this journey at the end of the academic year both with a special project for the award and by marking Refugee week 2024 as a school community.
We are delighted to have recently received a box of beautifully illustrated books kindly donated by The Open Minds Project, a local registered charity. The books, including topic and story books, will support our school’s practice of being a diverse representative school. You can find out more about the charity at https://openminds.org.uk/ and if you would to help their cause, details of their fundraiser can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/TOMPbookfund
We look forward to continuing the work we started last academic year with our trial of Brighton & Hove’s ‘Growing Anti Racist Schools’ lessons as part of our PSHE provision. Anti-racist education is always appropriate to pupils’ ages and stages of development and is an essential part of safeguarding. After last year’s lessons, we used pupil voice to find out how they felt about their learning!
What I enjoyed about these lessons:
*I feel more confident talking about what is and isn’t racist
*Learning about cultural heritage
*Learning what to do if someone is racist
*Learnt to make everyone feel welcome
*Learning that everyone is equal and difference is ok
*Learning the language we used
*Knowing it’s a safe place to talk