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Nine more schools have become Schools of Sanctuary: six nursery schools in Belfast, two nursery schools in Derry/Londonderry and one integrated school in Glengormley, Co Antrim. Here is the list –
1. Arellian Nursery School
2. Holy Cross Nursery School
3. St Lukes Nursery School
4. Good Shepherd Nursery School
5. McArthur Nursery School
6. Sandbrook Nursery School
7. Bligh’s Lane Nursery School
8. The Academy Nursery School
Glengormley, Co Antrim
9. Integrated College, Glengormley
During the school year, the excellent Intercultural Service of the Education Authority for Northern Ireland (EA) uses City of Sanctuary resources to prepare the schools for the award, training is delivered to our Belfast City of Sanctuary monitors, applications and portfolios are carefully examined, followed by inspections by our teams of each school, always a pleasurable experience for us, and we hope for the schools too.
This year for the first time, nursery schools have become Schools of Sanctuary, the rationale being that children should be children of the world as they learn and socialise together from an early age.
This means that parents play an enhanced role, often themselves learning about other cultures for the first time, delight after delight, sharing knowledge and often food, clothes and music.
In adopting the three Sanctuary Principles, a school further embeds and develops its culture and practice of empathy, welcome and inclusion for the benefit of ALL students. The school is visibly and actively committed to strengthening a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment and to equipping students to understand and respond to the needs of those who seek sanctuary in their communities and throughout the UK and Ireland.
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Congratulations to all the schools and their teachers and thanks to our monitors for approving the schools for the award.
A special thanks to the magnificent team at EA. Without their dedication, we would be unable to run this Stream of Sanctuary.