“Let every light shine” Matt. 5 v 16

Day of Welcome

On Friday, we participated in a whole school Day of Welcome. This is a day of solidarity and learning in schools across the country, with the aim of building a culture of welcome for people seeking sanctuary. We started the day with the Collective Worship team acting out the Quentin Blake story ‘A Sailing Boat in the Sky’.

Children in Robins listened to the book ‘All Are Welcome’ and enjoyed joining in with the refrain ‘All are welcome here.’ They followed this by thinking about times we might welcome others – new class members, coming back from holiday, having someone round for a playdate. They also thought about what people do to make someone feel welcome like baking a cake, playing with them or smiling at them.

In Kingfishers, the children listened to the story ‘The Suitcase’. They brought something from home that gives them comfort such as teddies and photos of family members. The children thought of three things they could do to make someone feel welcome if they were new to our school. Ideas included asking them questions, sharing toys and asking if they want to play.

Children in Swallows and Owls joined a live webcast with the author Dina Nayeri who has written a book called ‘The Waiting Place’ telling the stories of children who live in refugee camps – the waiting place – while they wait for ‘papers’ to let them move on.

Eagles joined a webcast with the authors Omar Mohammed and Victoria Jamieson who have collaborated to create a graphic novel about Omar’s experiences as a young boy in a Kenyan refugee camp having escaped Somalia without his parents. The story follows Omar and his brother with special needs as they start attending an English speaking school in the camp.

Next week is Refugee Week and we would like to continue our learning and thinking about how to be a welcoming school and a place of safety. On Thursday, 22nd June, we would like all children (except Kingfishers, who have already done this) to bring an item or photograph of something/someone that brings them comfort so we can create an interconnected welcome display. Please feel free to email photographs to Mrs Eland if it is easier: kingfishers@alpington.norfolk.sch.uk

All of this is the first step on our journey to become a School of Sanctuary. If you have family stories or experiences about seeking sanctuary, current or historic, that you would be happy to share with us, please let Mrs Eland know.