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International School Award
We are delighted to announce that we have been reaccredited for the International School Award, from the British Council for all three schools! This is again at the full 'gold' level. The judges were really impressed with all our work, especially that it continued despite lockdown! The work included: linking with our Spanish school, (CEIP Blas de Otero in Madrid), threading diversity into our curriculum and ethos and carrying out projects with Manchester Library, such as the art work to mark 'Holocaust Memorial Day' and the 'Lockdown Room' Refugee awareness project.
Some of their comments:
"The trust has held the full ISA for many years now and the judges had no hesitation in renewing it... Please convey our very best wishes and many congratulations to all staff and pupils both in the UK and overseas who have taken part in embedding such a rich and creative range of work.... Activities were introduced to provide valuable opportunities despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, which is creditable... This is an outstanding achievement. "
School of Sanctuary Award
In March 2020, all three schools in the trust were delighted to receive the prestigious 'School of Sanctuary Award' - the first schools in Manchester to get this! A School of Sanctuary is a school that is committed to being a safe and welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary. The School of Sanctuary Award is given by the City of Sanctuary movement to schools that have an exceptional commitment to diversity and have consistently put the sanctuary principles into practice.
The judges said that they were massively impressed by all the wonderful initiatives that they had seen. One judge said she wished that she was a teacher at one of our schools and another judge wished that he was a pupil there! They all felt certain that the work they had seen were excellent examples that they could highlight to schools nationwide calling us 'sanctuary champions.' "You clearly continue to adapt your creativity & resources to meet a variety of changing needs & criteria," they noted, referring to our work on bringing communities together to foster harmonious relationships.
The Colours of Us
As a Trust, we have been celebrating all the different skin tones in each class. After using the book, 'The Colours of Us,' as a stimulus, the children had a go at painting their skin tones mixing the colours using paints - the younger children used flesh tone watercolour pencils / crayons. Some children used similes to describe their skin tones, just like in the book. For example, "My skin colour is like sweet caramel." "The
colour of my skin is like a soft, sandy beach." "My skin colour is like sweet honey." "The colour of my skin is like yummy brownies.“ Children described their skin colour as special, beautiful and something that made them proud. Many agreed that if we were all the same, life would be very boring! We displayed our work in school and are sharing these virtually for all to see!
Trust Day of Peace
After hearing all the devastating news about Ukraine, the Trust decided to do something that would not only raise money for refugees around the world via the Red Cross, but also teach the children about the need for peace in the world. Tuesday 29th March was set as a 'Trust Day for Peace’ at Kingsway Community Trust. After launching the day with a message from the Schools of Sanctuary movement, classes across the Trust discussed peace and then took part in different activities. These included: artistic responses to the theme of peace, posters, poems, biscuit sales and a 'Pennies for Peace' trail. Local artist Frank Dowd worked with one class to create a papier mache representation of peace. The sculpture showcases diversity, pride, unity, compassion, hope, activism and peace. It has already been displayed at the Manchester charity for the homeless, Coffee 4 Craig. It is now at the Irish World Heritage Centre. Hopefully, it will inspire others with its important message as it travels! Watch the video to explore it fully!
Lisa Vyas, Executive Head of Kingsway Community Trust, said this about the 'Trust Day of Peace'
"We are extremely proud of the work that is done across our schools which teaches the children how to be global citizens. Throughout the curriculum the children are given opportunities to learn about others in order to appreciate what life is like across the globe and across Manchester. Following recent events of war and conflict particularly in Afghanistan and Ukraine, I had spoken with the children about refugees from these countries in an assembly. We wanted to extend their understanding of peace as something to strive for and so we developed our Trust Day of Peace. The calmness around school, from class to class, was very evident."
Our Trust Peace Day even featured in the Schools of Sanctuary National Newsletter . In addition, they also mentioned us in a second article, 'Opening Door to Education for Children in Hotels' where we were praised for offering sessions to Afghani refugees in hotels without school places.