DIFFERENCE AND DIVERSITY
How do I celebrate difference and diversity?
At St Katharine’s, we aim to develop a deep and sustained understanding of diversity in the context of celebrating the unique differences that we all bring as Global Neighbours. Our appreciation of the strength of diversity is applauded through our school ethos, our curriculum and through a range of spiritual, social and cultural opportunities which focus on extending each child’s tolerance, understanding and generosity.
Spiritual reflections about identity
Children from Year 1 to Year 6 were offered the opportunity to consider the big question ‘How do you know who you are?’ They played philosophical and spiritual thinking games to unlock deep reflections. As part of the investigation, children explored the work of neo-popular artist Romero Britto and created their own self-portraits to communicate something personal and unique about themselves. Their responses were very insightful and show a progressive development of spiritual awareness.
I know myself and God made me.
Child Voice Year 1
My fear creates me, my experiences make me, my secrets are mine for me and I am what others think of me.
Child Voice Year 6
As a school community, we seek out creative and innovative ways of exploring the theme of diversity. We have produced a series of summer festivals to celebrate cultural diversity through the arts. Most recently, our Storytelling Festival delved into a wide range of traditional tales from all around the globe and children made large-scale festival art works to create an outside environment for performances, puppet animation, arts and crafts and maypole dancing. Children loved learning stories from other cultures and finding ways to celebrate the power of differences.
Celebrating diversity in Black History Month
Every year, our school community takes a breath to investigate and celebrate an aspect of ethnic history and diversity in Britain. We love to express our reflections through the arts; here, we made public art sculpture of flags on our field in remembrance of the pioneers for equality in Britain.
Learning more about neurodiversity – World Autism Acceptance Weeks
For a few years, we have been investigating Autism. Through a series of drama interventions, listening to testimonials, watching interviews, visitor-led assemblies and reading child-friendly narratives, all children at St Katharine’s have explored the experiences of those within the complex spectrum of Autism. This creative learning has brought us together with a refreshed understanding of neurodiversity.
When asked, “What have you learned about Autism?” our children’s voices were clear.
“Everyone is perfect the way they are.” Year 1
“Autism is a lot of differences which means we are not the same.” Year 2
“It means that your brain works in a different way to other people.” Year 3
“Autism is not an illness but it is something you are born with.” Year 4
“You could think of Autism as a different power – it could be a good thing.” Year 5
“Noises and sounds might be exaggerated for Autistic people. It might be harder to concentrate.” Year 6
Learning more about global population movement
At St Katharine’s, children begin to explore the reasons behind global migrations that are happening today and have occurred in history so they can develop a balanced view on the factors that influence population movement. We believe that with a better understanding of the reasons for migration, children will develop into true Global Neighbours who are compassionate citizens driven by empathy.
When the war in Ukraine started, children in Early Years were moved to paint pictures of sunflowers in support of Ukrainian refugees coming to Britain.
Migrants and Refugees
While learning about the Roman invasion of Britain, Year 3 investigate the reasons for migration how this differs from the factors which influence refugees. They are given opportunities to discuss how society becomes increasingly diverse as a result of migration. These conversations continue as children move to Year 4 and beyond and grapple with the foundations of our society from Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Normans to the present day Britain. All children are encouraged to consider searching questions about our past, present and future in an increasingly diverse world.