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Bluecoat Primary Academy Becomes a School of Sanctuary

Pupils and staff at Bluecoat Primary Academy are celebrating after achieving School of Sanctuary accreditation, which recognises schools that welcome and support people seeking sanctuary, including refugees and asylum seekers, to become part of a wider community.

City of Sanctuary, the accrediting body of the School of Sanctuary award, visited the school recently, and wrote a glowing report based on their visit.

The report states: “The panel were impressed by the interactions taking place both within classrooms and in various smaller support groups in corridors. As well as a calm and lively learning atmosphere, there was a clear sense of children of all ages taking a friendly interest in visitors and the mission of being courageously inclusive and championing diversity was a golden thread throughout the school.”

Archway places inclusion at the heart of our organisation as one of our core values. The school and the trust have been working closely together to develop an inclusive teaching approach.

Bluecoat Primary Academy is our fifth school, and our first primary school, to achieve School of Sanctuary status, following Bluecoat Beechdale Academy, Bluecoat Aspley Academy, Bluecoat Wollaton Academy and The Nottingham Emmanuel School.

Sian Hampton, Chief Executive of Archway Learning Trust, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Bluecoat Primary Academy have been recognised in this way. Inclusion is so important to us and we strongly believe that every child has a right to a great education no matter their circumstances. This accreditation is testament to the fact that all our colleagues live by this value every day.”

The report also states that the children of Bluecoat Primary Academy have “a sophisticated vocabulary in talking about issues of safety and sanctuary which demonstrated how well understood these ideas were in their experience as learners, leaders and friends. The children offered many examples of how their views were sought and listened to in the school and how children can take the initiative in welcoming new members of a school community. There was a strong sense of mutual respect between the children and their teachers.”

Ben Jackson, Deputy Head Teacher at the school said: “We’re so proud to have achieved School of Sanctuary status and been recognised as a school which is welcome to all. We work hard to ensure that all our children are made to feel that they belong, and that feeling of inclusion extends to our local community too.”

Bluecoat Primary Academy also achieved the highest possible grade of ‘Excellent’ in their Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) this academic year. The report paid particular attention to the inclusivity of the school, stating: “The school’s deeply Christian vision underpins innovative practice and permeates out into the local community. It creates a richly inclusive environment where individuals are nurtured to ‘believe’ and ‘strive for life in all its fullness’. Consequently, there is exceptional flourishing for all, especially the most vulnerable, and lives are transformed.”

Mr Jackson continued: “We would welcome the opportunity to speak to any other schools who may be considering becoming a School of Sanctuary and joining us in making Nottingham a true City of Sanctuary.”

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