Last July, The Cathedral School, Llandaff became the first independent school in the UK to gain the Schools of Sanctuary accreditation. After two years of research, training, projects and working with schools from the Llandaff Diocese, we were very proud to be presented with the award.
This year was the 25th anniversary of Refugee Week, and our third year of taking part in the project but now as a School of Sanctuary. The last few years have been challenging for all of us. We are still adjusting to new realities post-lockdown as well as responding to new crises. With this in mind, the theme for our third Refugee Week was Compassion.
During the week, our Schools of Sanctuary Coordinator, Miss Morton, and Mrs Fletcher, who works with different charities who support refugees and asylum seekers, led assemblies and presentations across the Primary and Senior Sections, teaching the pupils about displaced people around the world. Pupils in Years 3-6 attended webinars led by the authors of The Waiting Place and Where Stars are Scattered, who are also refugees themselves; this was the inspiration for their own story writing. At the end of Refugee Week, we were heartened to welcome Viktoriia, someone originally from Ukraine with lived experience as a refugee, who was happy to share the story of her journey with the Primary Section and some Senior year groups. It was an inspirational and informative week enjoyed by staff and pupils, with exciting, enthusiastic videos posted daily on our social media platforms, shared by Schools of Sanctuary across the UK.
We are so proud to be a School of Sanctuary and we continue to strive to embed the values in our staff, pupils, and parents, and sustain a culture of welcome through The Cathedral School. Our main thoughts are always considering how we can make all people feel included: in our communities, our schools, and our lives.