Response to Manchester Terrorism Attack
We have all been affected in one way or another by the terrible events which took place on Monday evening in Manchester. We know that some colleagues, parents and children know at least one person who attended the concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday and we can only imagine the frightening experience that they went through. We are grateful that none of our families at Northenden Community School has experienced the loss of life or injuries that other families in the North West have experienced this week and at the same time extend our sympathy and heartfelt good wishes to the families who have been affected by this awful event. The loss of anyone’s life is a sad event but it is particularly poignant to families and to us at school when such a heartless act affects the lives of children and families in this way. It is also particularly “close to home” on this occasion which makes it all the more significant in our minds and experience.
Since the event, the school has received advice and guidance from a number of sources, including, of course, Manchester City Council and the police. The general advice from the City Council and the police is as follows:
The appalling attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday 22nd May is being treated as a suspected terrorist incident. All our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones or been injured or traumatised. The police, hospitals, Council and emergency services are doing all they can to support them. As a City we will remain strong and it is more important than ever that our communities continue to support each other.
Our school leadership team will continue to ensure the safety of our children and security of our school building, and will remain vigilant at all times. We appreciate these terrible events will be distressing for your children and the school community. We will remain open as usual and we appreciate your support in keeping the day as calm and normal as possible for the children. We have access to Educational Psychology Services should anybody require this. There is an increased number of police, including armed patrols out in communities following yesterday’s incident. These are general patrols aimed at providing community reassurance and there is no need to be alarmed. There is no intelligence relating to a threat to schools and GMP are not advising any schools to close.
Support for Children
Teaching staff took the opportunity to talk to children on Tuesday morning about the events of Monday night. The children were not particularly anxious or worried but some wanted to talk about event and try to understand what happened, particularly if they knew of someone who was attending the event. We very much felt that the school should not heighten the children’s worries at this time, go ahead with all of our plans and wait for any guidance, advice or useful information to share with the children from various sources.
In response to some advice and general materials received, we held an assembly for our Key Stage 2 children on Thursday morning and attempted to answer any questions we could about the event. We also joined many schools across the country in holding a minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives on Monday night or were affected by the event.
Extremism and Radicalisation
The school’s approach to dealing with