You may have noticed this new logo on our letterhead and website. It was awarded for all the work that St. Mary's does with pupils, staff and parents to be a real community of welcome, inclusion and force for change with campaigns such as lowering British Citizenship fees for children, ending NRPF and campaigning against NHS migrant charging.
We are the first school in Lewisham to be given this award and we hope to celebrate this with the whole school community at a special event in September!
You can read more about us here;
Some of our amazing children took part in a Zoom meeting with the Home Office to discuss and give their views on a range of issues related to NRPF, Immigration and British Citizenship.
They were given the opportunity to talk about how these issues affect them and their families. In addition they gave their views on how unfair they felt the system of applying and paying for Child British Citizenship was and some of the problems their families have encountered when dealing with the Home Office such as language or delay.
When asked to name an animal that they would associate with the Home Office one of our children said a lion because one little thing might really upset the lion causing him to roar or bite unexpectedly.
The purpose of the consultation was for the Home Office to listen to children, to hear their views and to make some changes accordingly. The children made some great suggestions for improvement including the use of translators, simplifying language used in forms and letters, being fairer and transparent to all who use the Home Office and maybe letting parents pay fees in instalments.
We are so proud of our children who displayed all the values we talk about in school including responsibility, respect and community. The children have received certificates from the Home Office for their contributions.
Every year a cohort of trainee students come to St. Mary's and work with our pupils on a project that they feel passionate about in the social justice arena. Covid 19 was not going to put a stop to that this year and we were lucky enough to have 2 students in class and 2 students who appeared remotely.
This year it was the subject of how families without settled status may be charged for secondary care and how unfair this is. Year 6 did a number of roleplays to understand the different scenarios and how people may be treated. They also found out that sometimes the wrong information can be circulated. Did you know that everyone is entitled to GP care or emergency treatment regardless of status or whether you have a fixed address? Did you know that everyone is entitled to receive free vaccinations for Covid 19?
Year 6 then created some fabulous illustrations of what they had learned to be used in a future information booklet for use across the borough!