Sheffield primary fourth in city to be awarded 'School of Sanctuary' status

A Sheffield primary school has become the fourth in the city to be awarded ‘School of Sanctuary’ status.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 5:00 pm

Hatfield Primary Academy, in Shiregreen, is one of only four schools in Sheffield to have achieved the status as part of an initiative launched by City of Sanctuary to celebrate the good practice of schools who welcome asylum-seeking and refugee families into their school community.

It has been recognised as a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary.

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Pupils from Hatfield Primary Academy celebrating the School of Sanctuary status

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.

Principal Katy Beech said: “As a school community we are very proud to be recognised for our welcoming nature and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with all the partners of the RUBIC Project and the wider school community to expand our work on this over this academic year and beyond.”

Working with City of Sanctuary and the RUBIC Project, Hatfield has been raising awareness and understanding amongst the children around topics such as community cohesion, what it means to be a refugee or an asylum seeker and the human right to sanctuary.

Staff have also undergone training and discussed how to engage and welcome sanctuary seekers while parents, carers and the community have taken part in sessions about the importance of creating a safe, inclusive environment in school and the community, regardless of where people come from or what they look like.

Year 5 student Vesna Atiso added: “This has given me and my classmates the opportunity to learn about all the things refugees and asylum seekers have to deal with. I now understand, through becoming a School of Sanctuary, we should be careful about the things we say, treat each other with kindness and welcome everyone with open arms. Not many schools are schools of sanctuary – to have our school pass is amazing.”

By achieving this award, Hatfield said it has shown how it extends a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.