Learning Sanctuary is a unique provision for newly arrived migrants, who are in the last year of their KS4 education. The provision is attended by EU migrants, travelers, refugees and UASC. This provision has been run for nearly a decade in which we supported over 250 children from about 40 different countries.
Since March 2022, we have widened our impact and opened additional sub-provision of the Learning Sanctuary for the most disadvantaged group of asylum-seeking children, placed in Hull in a temporary accommodation, waiting for the decision whether they can stay in the UK or not. This provision is open for children age 4-15. We are located in the school building at Lambert Street, which is a very suitable location for the whole migrants’ community.
Our goal is to support all our students and their families in this very overwhelming transition, to introduce them into British education system, and to guide them towards the best option for their future. For year 11 students, we are the bridge between the secondary school and college, where they can undertake initial and diagnostic assessments, and based on the results, we tailor the learning experience by focusing on Functional Skills in English and Maths followed by complementary subjects like Science, ICT, Music, Sport, Art and non-academic lessons, where they can learn about heritage, history, go on trips and visit places, support a development of soft skills and social interaction and to make them feel safe and at home. The mental health support is a major focus of our interaction with the children and their parents; therefore, we assign a sufficient time to explore with the children their emotional state, feelings, struggles, attitude towards themselves by being creative and using different form of arts to provide the space and help them to open up.
As all our children are EAL, we are embedding English language and British values into every activity we plan for them. The children with good English and education background are also encourage to sit GCSE exams.
The new sub-provision for primary school children age 4-10 and secondary cohort for age 11-15 offers
– integrated teaching with focus on Maths, English, including elements of art, PSHCE, sport, music and drama,
– mental and psychological support for children and their families,
– welfare support.
Extra support for pupils and families:
Our pupils are supported by multilingual staff, who can communicate with them and their parents in their first language if needed. This is crucial during admission meetings, or when we try to gather some background information from children’s life prior joining the school. If the child needs additional intervention, we offer 1:1 session with child psychologist, or increasing mental health activities. The success of the LS is also based on the very tight cooperation with the families, carers, social services, GP, nurses, many third sector organisations, who works alongside for the benefit of our children.
The support for parents is very wide, from translations to ESOL classes, organising family trips or signposting them to all the new opportunities.
We also offer families access to a unique project called Hullitage that introduces them to the local history, art and customs. It engages families in events and trips. Additionally, it helps to create friendships and to meet other people.
Intervention is built into our timetable and will be reviewed each half term. For the students who have speech and language needs, a specialist educational psychologist groups the children based on their needs. From this regular speech and language intervention groups will run in mornings. We also have a designated speech and language therapist who visits the school to assess students and advise staff on their next steps. Some students also receive support from an ELSA to help with their SEMH needs.