We live in a diverse world

13th April 2007 at 01:00
Musselburgh Grammar held its first Diversity Days at the end of term to show its support for a multicultural Scotland. The school focused on four areas: gender, culture, disability and fair trade.

On the first day, all departments had to teach their usual timetabled classes, but each lesson was tailored to focus on one of these topics. For example, pupils could discuss the plight of coffee growers in modern studies, create African masks in art and design, experience the loss of sensory awareness in science or perform a rain dance in physical education.

On the second day, the school timetable was suspended so they could participate in a variety of workshops. These included Bollywood and belly-dancing, Japanese arts and crafts, using animation software, an introduction to yoga, ethnic cookery, Tai Chi, Chinese calligraphy and African drumming. Other activities included a musical stage show, a world fashion show and a marketplace for sampling foods from all over the globe.

Jane Park, one of the teachers who organised the event, said: "School diversity means creating an inclusive environment that embraces pupils'

individual differences and provides opportunities for all pupils to achieve their full potential. Every area of Scotland has welcomed into its schools children from minority cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In recent years, many young people have come with their families from countries which have recently joined the European Union. We are celebrating the great value which such pupils bring to schools through their many cultural and linguistic experiences."

The project was designed to underpin A Curriculum for Excellence and provide an opportunity for all pupils to develop skills as successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

Ronnie Summers, the headteacher, said: "This ambitious project was the innovative idea of the guidance department who have worked very hard to drum up support and help from within school and a variety of outside agencies, and in staging and co-ordinating all these activities."

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