Primary school becomes Sheffield's first School of Sanctuary

Pupils and staff at Oasis Academy Watermead receive the accolade during a special assembly
Pupils and staff at Oasis Academy Watermead receive the accolade during a special assembly
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A primary school in Shirecliffe has become the first in the city to receive a special status for developing a culture of acceptance and support.

Oasis Academy Watermead, on Barrie Crescent, has been designated as a School of Sanctuary.

Staff, pupils and the wider community have embraced the school's ethos of making it a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary - such as refugees and people having trouble at home.

The academy, which opened in 2014, received the accolade from the nationwide City of Sanctuary movement during a special Sparkle and Shine assembly.

Mike Reynolds, chairman of City of Sanctuary, Sheffield, presented the award and said he was so please to see so many countries represented at the school.

Principal Lynne Goodhand said: "We are of course very proud to become Sheffield’s first School of Sanctuary.

“Being a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment for our children, their families and our wider community is a big part of what Oasis Academy Watermead is all about.

"We welcome everyone, and value all that they bring to our community of learning. We want everyone to have the support and care that they need to reach their full potential.”

“This award is for all of pupils, parents, staff and our wider community – we work together and support one another for the benefit of the children. We hope that we are the first of many schools in Sheffield to make such a commitment to their communities.”

Oasis’s regional director for the North, Philip Beamount, said “At Oasis Community Learning our academies are committed to inclusion, equality, healthy relationships, hope and perseverance.

"Oasis Academy Watermead examples each of these characteristics and it is an inspirational place to teach and learn.

"Lynne and her team fully deserve this award, and as a family of academies we are very proud of their achievement.”