Express & Star

School celebrates award recognising it as safe place for refugee children

Pupils at a primary school in Wolverhampton are celebrating after becoming the first in the city to be officially recognised as a welcoming and safe place for refugee children.

Gabija Lingyte (left) and Dammy Ope, both aged 10 at Bantock primary school

Bantock Primary School were last week presented with a certificate for being a Sanctuary School, an award that highlights a school's commitment for being welcoming to all backgrounds, particularly those seeking a new place to rebuild their life.

Curriculum manager Tom Johnston said staff and pupils were 'overjoyed' to hear the good news.

He said: "Our children can speak more than 40 different languages and come from a range of countries all across the world; Iraq, Libya, all across Eastern Europe. And we have a lot from the Roma community too. The education and standard of living isn't as good there as it is here, and the children come here and they can't believe how nice the school is compared to the one they came from.

"That could be because of anything from the playground, children being nice to them, or getting support from teachers.

"We are culturally, linguistically and geographically very diverse."

The Sanctuary award praises the hard work that the teachers and staff play in making the school a welcoming place for children who may have moved to England from abroad and face challenges in adapting to the language, culture and education.

Mr Johnston added: "The important thing to remember is that this wasn't just a box ticking exercise, this is part of our day to day practice."

Students celebrated on Wednesday with a special assembly led by four Year 4 pupils, who explained to their fellow classmates what the school had achieved.

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