Harris Park students embrace their multicultural community
St Oliver’s Catholic Primary, Harris Park celebrated St Oliver’s Day on 2 November with a public celebration of the school’s values and their community’s multiculturalism.
The day began with a mass and assembly celebrating the re-launch of the school’s mission and values statements and continued with open classrooms, giving parents the opportunity to see the school values integrated into the learning environment.
Parents and community members were then called upon to step into the role of teachers to share with the students a range of traditional cultural activities from around the world. Students were exposed to a wide range of experiences such as Arabic dancing; sushi making; Tongan songs; storytelling; belly dancing and Lebanese drumming.
The day culminated in a multi-cultural lunch with families from the school community donating food for a large-scale celebration. Food from over 15 different countries was served including Lebanon; India; Sudan; Australia; The Philippines; Tonga; Samoa; Egypt; Ghana and Sierra Leon.
Helen Boerma of the Catholic Education Office, visits the school weekly as a counsellor and said the day’s activities were a wonderful example of how schools can become more active in their wider communities and develop positive relationships within that community.
‘One thing that I noticed was how well engaged the children were with the learning, particularly children who struggle with other learning activities at school. It was wonderful to see students and adults respecting the traditions of various cultures and also, to see the knowledge and skills of parents embraced and valued in the classroom,’ Helen said.
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