Students take part in activities celebrating different cultures
Brooke Weston Academy held its first Culture Week in Term 5 giving students and staff the opportunity to share their heritage as well as learning about different nationalities.
Culture Week was the idea of Year 13 Diversity and Inclusion Student Leader Isabel Offer, with the aim to set aside time during the school day for students to learn about and celebrate other cultures outside their usual curriculum cultural learning.
KS3 students were given Culture Week ‘passports’ as part of a competition, which entailed students searching for clues to questions hidden around the school. Students received a passport stamp sticker for each correct answer and completed passports were entered into a prize draw, with Year 7 student Kirsten Tazvivinga receiving a gift voucher as the winner of the draw.
Jackie Woodman, Head of Catering at BWA, devised a menu that incorporated foods which students may not have had the opportunity to try before, dishes included Sri Lankan curry, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Lebanese falafel, Indian dhal and Namibian banana bread to name a few.
Assistant Librarian, Tom Holton prepared a book display in the school Library exploring non-fiction cultural elements such as traditions and food as well as fiction books set in different cultures around the world.
Our wider community also got involved, with parents, carers and staff submitting their favourite recipes and songs from their culture and these will be incorporated into a booklet that will be sent home.
Science teacher and Lead of Culture, Ethos & Wellbeing at BWA, Sammy Hallybone, said, ‘Culture week was a fantastic idea and the diversity committee worked hard designing tasks for students to take part in to find out more about different cultures. It was lovely to see students engaging in the lesson starters, from practicing their Vietnamese phrases to designing Ghanian Kente patterns. Learning about different cultures is an essential part of a student's pastoral education; it allows them to celebrate differences, which leads to a more empathic understanding of others.
We had incredible student volunteers run our assemblies to talk about and show their cultural dress. This was so brave of them, and seeing their passion and talking about their cultures was so engaging for the other students. We are hoping to have a more immersive experience next year to incorporate music, dancing and art to really bring the cultures alive for our students. I am so proud of our students and for the way that they feel comfortable sharing ideas to help make our school a better place for all.’