Inclusive academy becomes Sheffield’s first ever ‘School of Sanctuary’

Oasis Academy Watermead has become the first school in Sheffield designated as a ‘School of Sanctuary’ by the nationwide City of Sanctuary movement.  

A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for all, especially those seeking sanctuary. This could be people whose lives were in danger in their own country, who have troubles at home or are just looking for a space of safety.

Oasis Academy Watermead, one of Oasis’s newer primary academies that opened in 2014, has received the special School of Sanctuary accolade.  The school supports its pupils, staff and the wider community to understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community.

Mike Reynolds, Chair of The Charitable Trust presented the award to pupils, staff and parents during a special Sparkle and Shine assembly. He commented that he was pleased to see so many countries represented in the audience – “It feels as if the whole world is represented here!”

“We are of course very proud to become Sheffield’s first School of Sanctuary,” says Lynne Goodhand, the Principal of Oasis Academy Watermead.

“Being a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment for our children, their families and our wider community is a big part of what Oasis Academy Watermead is all about.  We welcome everyone, and value all that they bring to our community of learning. We want everyone to have the support and care that they need to reach their full potential.”

“This award is for all of pupils, parents, staff and our wider community – we work together and support one another for the benefit of the children. We hope that we are the first of many schools in Sheffield to make such a commitment to their communities.”

“At Oasis Community Learning our academies are committed to inclusion, equality, healthy relationships, hope and perseverance,” added Philip Beamount, Oasis’s Regional Director for Primary in the North. 

“Oasis Academy Watermead examples each of these characteristics and it is an inspirational place to teach and learn.  Lynne and her team fully deserve this award, and as a family of academies we are very proud of their achievement.”  

To find out more about Schools of Sanctuary here: https://schools.cityofsanctuary.org/