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Schools of Sanctuary Ireland

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Schools of Sanctuary Ireland (SoSI) was formed in 2019, following the ongoing success of the initiative in the UK (incl. Northern Ireland). SoSI is now proud to support a network of more than 70 Irish primary and post primary schools who are working towards or have become a ‘Champion School of Sanctuary’.

This event will provide information about how schools curate their Sanctuary ‘journey’ to enhance and strengthen their efforts to ensure that all students, particularly those who fear marginalisation or prejudice, have a valued and respected place in the school community. 

SoSI staff and teachers from Champion Schools of Sanctuary will talk about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of the programme and look at the impact on students of belonging to a school that expressly and visibly places welcome and inclusion at the heart of the school’s identity.

Speakers: Tiffy Allen, Homayoon Shirzad (Schools of Sanctuary Ireland), Josephine Nyamuranga (Teacher & Sanctuary Lead, Donabate Community College, Co. Dublin, Champion School of Sanctuary) Tom Cousins (Principal, Kilrane National School, Co. Wexford, Champion School of Sanctuary) Olga Ray (Ukrainian Sanctuary Ambassador, Co. Wexford).

“Honestly for us here in Nano Nagle College, being a School of Sanctuary and having teachers as Sanctuary Ambassadors is something that is engrained in the culture of our school. We understand that Champion Sanctuary status is not a tick-the-box exercise and instead is inherent in all that we do here” (Ms Moloney, teacher and Sanctuary Lead, Nano Nagle College, Cork)

Learning Outcomes:
- How being a School of Sanctuary enhances the student voice in the school and community, particularly the voice of the newcomer student and their family.
- How being a School of Sanctuary helps staff and students to learn more about forced migration and facilitate the needs of those who seek sanctuary here, especially in the context of increasing anti-migrant actions.
- How being a School of Sanctuary gives a platform, strategy or structure to schools within which to address issues around misinformation, racism, marginalisation in the school, in the community or in the wider national or international context.

school of santuary info evening

 

What is a School of Sanctuary?

A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment that benefits everybody, especially families seeking sanctuary. It is a school that helps its students, staff, parents, and the wider community to understand what it means to be a refugee and to extend a welcome to everyone regardless of their immigration status. 

Schools of Sanctuary is not a project, nor a short-term school initiative. It is a culture that schools achieve over time to ensure everyone feels welcomed, safe, and included in the school and beyond. It begins with 3 core principles:

Learn, Take Action and Share.

3 Principles of Schools of Sanctuary

Principle  1. Learn

Schools start learning about refugees and hearing their stories, why people are forced to flee their countries and the issues, and challenges people are facing in Ireland. Also, we learn about the cultures, traditions, food, and languages of people who have come to our community.

Here are some good examples of what Schools of Sanctuary do:

  • Attend Webinars or workshops about the refugee journey to Ireland.
  • Find out about all the languages spoken in the homes of students.
  •  Invite Sanctuary Ambassadors or a refugee to share their experience.
  • Make connections with the local refugee support NGO.

Principle  2. Take Action

Now that Schools have developed an understanding of the refugees and asylum process in Ireland, we make an action plan of ways we can support refugees locally and nationally.

Here are some good examples of what Schools of Sanctuary do:

  • Invite newcomers to share their culture & stories in diversity celebrations.
  • Prioritize English Language and other supports for newcomer students.
  • Invite Sanctuary Ambassadors to describe their experience of Direct Provision and arriving in Ireland.
  • Create ‘Welcome Packs’ in different languages for parents
  • Make sure the displays reflect the languages and cultures represented in the school.

Principle No 3. Share

Here are some good examples of what Schools of Sanctuary do:

  • Schools reach out to other schools in their areas to encourage them, and to share good practices, successes and stories.
  • They share their SoS journey on their website and social media platforms.
  • Some schools contact media outlets and produce video and audio campaigns around the Schools of Sanctuary. 
 

What is a School of Sanctuary like?

A School of Sanctuary is a school that works on providing a sense of safety for those whose lives may be in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or who are just looking for a space where they can feel safe. The whole school is committed to making it a safe and welcoming place for anyone seeking sanctuary. The school consciously helps students, staff and the wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary. Schools of Sanctuary welcome everyone as equal, valued members of the school and the community. It is a school that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all. A School of Sanctuary develops intercultural awareness through the gradual acquisition of intercultural skills and celebrates all cultures within its community.

How do we become a School of Sanctuary?

To become a recognised School of Sanctuary, you will need to adopt the three principles – Learn, Action and Share.

Learn: What it means to be seeking sanctuary; this may include hearing refugees describe their experiences first-hand.

Action: Decide on actions that are needed in the school to help develop a culture of welcome and inclusion.

Share: Share your findings with the wider community and other schools.

You will find out much more in our free Resource Pack Become a School of Sanctuary - Schools of Sanctuary Ireland on the following link.

https://schools-ireland.cityofsanctuary.org/become-a-school-of-sanctuary

Get Started

  1. Contact your local City/County or Place of Sanctuary Group, and inform them of your School’s intention. 
  2. Click here to download the Schools of Sanctuary Charter and the Pledge Forms
  3. Follow the guidelines of the Schools of Sanctuary Resource Pack. Following the three guidelines, LEARN, ACTION and SHARE, begin to prepare your portfolio.
  4. When you are ready, we can arrange for a monitoring team to visit your school to help decide if you are ready for a School of Sanctuary Award.

    PDF Version_ Schools of Sanctuary Pledge Form 2023

    Word Version_ Schools of Sanctuary Pledge Form 2023

    This is your starting point and a good way to get your whole community involved.

The 3 Tiers of Schools of Sanctuary

Friends, Members and Champion schools. Please click this link to read more about the 3 tiers of Schools of Sanctuary as this is very helpful for schools to be aware of where their journey is and how they could plan their engagement with the network and beyond.

Final Post Primary Activity Sheet 

Primary 4th-5th and 6th Activity Sheet 

Appraisal-and-portfolio-guidelines
2023 School of Sanctuary Charter_ PDF
PDF Version_ Schools of Sanctuary Pledge Form 2023
Word Version_ Schools of Sanctuary Pledge Form 2023
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any queries

Champion School        Member Schools

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 2022/2023 wexford schools

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 bunscoil loreto, gorey

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Kilrane N.S., rosslare

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 creagh college, gorey

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