Bluecoat Wollaton Academy has been recognised as a School of Sanctuary in the city of Nottingham. The accreditation recognises schools who welcome and support people seeking sanctuary to become part of a wider community.
To become a School of Sanctuary, the academy based on Sutton Passeys Crescent in Wollaton, underwent a robust accreditation process meeting a minimum of 8 criteria, demonstrating its commitment to creating intercultural awareness and a safe space for all.
Principal at the Bluecoat Wollaton Academy is Stuart Anderson who said, “Bluecoat Wollaton Academy is committed to honouring and celebrating diversity; not just of the student and staff body but of society around us. Through updating the curriculum and what we teach, providing access to diverse and representative reading material in our school library, providing enrichment activities and opportunities for students to express their identities LGBTQ+, their faith, and supporting their community through regular scheduled acts of charity.”
Assessors from the Nottingham City of Sanctuary team had high praise for the ethos of the school evidenced in the… ‘supportive and calm atmosphere of the school and by the enthusiasm and positivity of the delightful pupils. The report also said that the academy was ‘a school which obviously works solidly together to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive space for all its pupils and staff and is particularly successful in creating a multi-cultural and inclusive community’…and with ‘…aspirations and detailed plans on ways to develop and expand on this in the future’.
Student Frishta Omidwar (Year 8) has recently joined the Bluecoat Wollaton Academy and said, “I think this shows this is a place where anyone can come and find a safe place and where we can all be proud of our own cultures. I am very proud and happy that we have this award. When I first came here five months ago, I was a little bit nervous. But because of the support of my parents and teachers I don’t feel nervous anymore.”
Fellow student Ayesha Ali (Year 8), agreed saying, “I am also proud and happy to be a part of this. Every school should try to be the same and try to achieve this award. You know every morning when you come into school that there will be teachers and friends who are going to be there for you.”
Karam Kaur Rathore (Year 8) said, “I think it is such an achievement because I know not all schools will have an appreciation for students who have different cultures, and I think its good that my academy does that.”
Sally MacDonald (Lead Nottingham City of Sanctuary Schools assessment team) and colleague, Cora Lindsay (Asst Professor Centre of English Language Education), presented the award.
Sally said, “On behalf of Schools of Sanctuary UK, I am delighted to confirm that Bluecoat Wollaton Academy has been accredited as a School of Sanctuary. Seeing the work the school does has been a delight.
“They have created a culture where all students feel safe to express and celebrate their own culture, while at the same time respectfully accepting that others may be different. Staff and students know how to welcome people seeking sanctuary and ensure that they have the best possible support to thrive at the school. In our assessment visit, when asked what the school could do to improve the work they do to welcome those seeking sanctuary, a recently arrived pupil proudly stated that there was nothing further they could have done; we can’t ask for more than that! The school also demonstrated that the great work that is happening will continue and blossom over the next few years.
“From all at Schools of Sanctuary UK we offer Bluecoat Wollaton our congratulations- welcome to our ever expanding family!”
Jane Burd of Nottingham City of Sanctuary added, “We would like to thank the board of Archway Learning Trust who have committed to all the schools in their family becoming Schools of Sanctuary. We believe that every school is a potential school of sanctuary, not only for sanctuary seekers but for the whole school community as they learn about what it means to flee persecution and war and to offer a warm welcome to the UK.”