Lawn Manor Academy has marked Refugee Week with a celebration of the school’s diversity and recognition of their culture of inclusivity and welcoming others, which runs through all they do.
Culminating in a Celebration of Welcomes event, pupils and their families spent the evening at the school showcasing the different cultural identities and nationalities that make up Lawn Manor Academy. Attendees were wowed by a programme of music, dance, poetry and presentations accompanied by snacks from around the world. The evening was a joint effort by staff and families, with many coming in traditional dress.
The evening also saw the premier of films made by Year 10 students on the theme of cultural identity and the different aspects of life and influences we receive which help form who we are. A school-wide art and poetry competition based around the theme of compassion was also on show on the evening, with Year 8 pupil Annaly winning first place. Second place was awarded to Year 8 pupil Ayesha and joint third place winners were Pheobe in Year 10 and Assal in Year 8.
Will Smith, Head of PSHE at Lawn Manor Academy, said: “It was a great evening and incredible to see the wealth of cultures and nationalities we have at the school. Bringing everyone together as one school community and celebrating what makes us unique demonstrates the richness of Lawn Manor Academy and our inclusive approach to everything we do.
“We’re in the process of applying to become an official School of Sanctuary. We hope to join 400 other primary and secondary schools, nurseries and sixth forms across the UK in demonstrating our commitment to creating a culture of welcome and inclusion for refugees and people seeking asylum.”
Making sure that everyone is welcome in the school is a cornerstone of the school and Lawn Manor Academy currently has a team of 58 Welcome Ambassadors whose role it is to help new pupils settle into life at the school. The Welcome Ambassadors are paired with new students and take them around the school, give them tours and helping them get used to school life.
“Our aim is to create a safe space for new pupils, as joining a new school on your own can be very daunting, even more so if you’re new to the area or even the country,” explained Will. “The Welcome Ambassadors span every year and have such a variety of backgrounds and interests that we can match them with new pupils, which has such a beneficial impact to how they settle in and feel safe and welcome at school.”
Lawn Manor Academy is part of the Ascend Learning Trust. For more information visit www.lawnmanor.org.
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