On Thursday 12th October, Bishop Luffa School hosted a Healing Classrooms Conference in the Assembly Rooms, Chichester.
The first of its kind on the South Coast, the conference was led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which helps people whose lives have been shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, it now works in over 40 crisis-affected countries, as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas.
The Chichester conference shared the IRC’s Healing Classrooms approach to offering children and safe and predictable place to learn and cope with the consequences of conflict and displacement and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Attendees included not only educators from schools and universities, but also students, SENCOs and English as an Additional Language teams. In addition, there were representatives of charities, church and youth groups, hospices, Chichester Contact Centre and West Sussex County Council, as well as mediators, therapists, counsellors and psychologists.
The aim? To help displaced students and students with ACEs gain the necessary academic, social and emotional skills to develop their full potential.
Everyone at the event had time to share ideas, network and collaborate to support displaced young people and their families in the area.
Bud Hagan, from Chichester-based charity The Young People’s Shop, which offers free counselling, emotional support, advice and guidance to young people aged between 11 and 25, came to the event.
Bud said: “I attended the conference to find out more about the Healing Classrooms approach and to deepen my understanding and awareness of what it is to be a refugee attending school in the UK.”
“I learnt so much throughout the day and it was great to connect with other local services. It was wonderful to see that schools are having these conversations about trauma and looking at ways to best support their students.”
Bishop Luffa School and IRC teams have now developed a close link and very much look forward to working together to help young people with ACEs live life in all its fullness.
Susie Cooke, EAL Coordinator