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School of Sanctuary Visit to Mount Sion CBS Waterford, Sharing as a Champion School of Sanctuary

On Tuesday, January 24th Mount Sion CBS Secondary School hosted teachers and students from North Monastery Primary School and Wexford Presentation Secondary School.

Teachers and Students of the 3 mentioned schools

Both of the aforementioned schools are on their journey to become a school of sanctuary and are fully engaging with all aspects of the process in a really enthusiastic way. The day consisted of a welcome from our principal, Mr. Kenneday who expressed his passion about being a principal of a school of sanctuary and how special it was for him that our school is such a welcoming community and safe space for students no matter what their background is. The students then had a visit from Mr. Foley, our HSCL officer. Mr.Foley spoke in particular about the importance of engaging parents in as many aspects of school life as possible. Education begins at home and sharing with parents is so important to us as a school as we strongly believe in partnerships with parents and guardians as a key to the success and happiness of our students.

Mr. Foley sharing his work and experiences of helping students and families

The students then participated in a workshop designed by Ms. O’Rourke in which they had discussion and debate on many aspects of school life. They recognised what their schools were doing incredibly well and also how we as school communities could improve. This was the most significant part of the day for us as teachers as we believe that ‘student voice’ is absolutely essential for us to achieve our aims in school. Students leading students is key.

Ms. O’Rourke sharing their school’s Journey of Sanctuary and how students and families are being included and supported

Students at the workshop organised by Ms. Jacinta O’Rourke, Mount Sion CBS Secondary School, Waterford

A tour of the school then took place where we listened to Ms Leen discussing the Amber Flag which focuses on inclusivity and mental health. This is an important part of our daily routines and mental health is at the forefront of everything we do in Mount Sion CBS. Ms Leen told us about the very exciting erasmus programme that her department runs where students in Mount Sion CBS get to communicate with students from other countries and they also get to travel with the project. The destinations in the last few years have been Madrid and Brussels. Ms Sheridan discussed literacy within the school and again echoed the words of Mr Foley when she spoke about a very engaging project which encouraged a shared literacy programme for parents and students.

Continued sharing of Mount Sion’s amazing initiatives being supported in the school.

We would like to thank Wexford Presentation and North Monastery Primary School for fully engaging with the day’s events and for making the journey to come and visit us here in Mount Sion CBS Secondary. We look forward to working with them in the future and hopefully many more schools who are embarking on the wonderful journey that is Sanctuary!

Some of the students who participated a tour around Mount Sion CBS Secondary School