More in this section...
School of Sanctuary
Eastwood Community School are working towards becoming an accredited School of Sanctuary.
A School of Sanctuary is a place of welcome for all
Living our values at Eastwood
Eastwood is a welcoming place
What our staff say:
"Eastwood is welcoming. It has a kind, caring and inclusive culture. You feel the amazing ethos of the school from the moment you enter. The children are happy and know they are loved. It is an honour to work in our school and community."
What our children say:
"I would introduce this school to my friend because she is from Egypt and when someone from a different country comes they would always support the person and encourage them to learn more.."
"When I came everyone was very welcoming so I guess it would be the same for them too."
"this school is very good and all of the teachers are super nice to everybody. They treat everybody the same and care for us all. If anybody needs help the teacher will always be here."
What our parents say:
"As a parent I can proudly say my children are cared for all the time and always valued. The staff are very friendly and always approachable."
"Such a close-knit supportive school."
"Eastwood is an exceptional place for my children to attend. The school’s integrity and values align with our values."
Sanctuary Events at Eastwood
ESOL students visiting from Keighley College - 27th November 2023
Listening to the stories and experiences of those seeking sanctuary is an invaluable way to develop empathy, understanding and realise our shared humanity. Last term, students and staff from Keighley College (an awarded College of Sanctuary) and Eastwood Community School (working towards the accreditation) facilitated this by bringing together 24 young ESOL students from the college, most who are seeking sanctuary, with staff and children from the primary school.
The children at Eastwood prepared questions starting with “if you don't mind me asking...?” and the college students were carefully prepared for the sorts of questions that might be asked and understood they didn’t have to answer questions that made them uncomfortable. The children enjoyed hearing the students’ stories and asked questions ranging from why students came to the UK; their journeys and the countries they travelled through; what they liked about England and college; what they missed about their countries; and what they wanted to do for a living.
One student shared how he was kidnapped and forced to work in restaurants from the age of eight. Another student told them that at their age he only went to school in the morning because he had to work afternoons and evenings shining shoes. “Eastwood Primary School is very different from my school in Afghanistan,” Zakir reflected. “We had to sit on the ground and didn't have any pens and paper for free. When it rained, the water poured in.”
The students told the children that they were here without their families and missed them, especially their mums. “Appreciate your families,” one student advised. Another reflected, “if you want something you have to work for it. I came here because it was safe and there are many opportunities.”
The students were shown around the school, joined in with break time and met some of the younger pupils in nursery and pre-school. They joined in with singing, painting and art activities alongside the children. “It was a very good experience for our students to see how education works in the UK. I hope it will inspire some of our young students to go into teaching,” said one of the college teachers.
“I've made some new friends and I really hope they can join us again,” said one Year 6 pupil. A staff member at Eastwood also reflected: “for our pupils, the day highlighted the importance of being kind, respectful and understanding. It was a great experience to see our pupils’ asking questions and making connections.” The value of this project was outlined by a senior leader at Eastwood who emphasised they wanted their children “well-equipped to be active, compassionate citizens who can contribute to making the world a better place…meeting regularly with people from diverse backgrounds demonstrates our commitment to this endeavour.”
Shortly after the initial meeting, 15 of the children visited the college and took part in a variety of activities. They also brought with them thank you cards that they had made.
The college and school are planning to continue these meet-ups and this term they have planned cooking sessions where both groups will learn about each other’s cultural and culinary heritage.