First Ever Culture Day at Colfe’s

Pupils and staff gained a new appreciation of the diversity of languages, food and cultural heritage within the Colfe’s community as they celebrated the school’s inaugural Culture Day.

The aim of Culture Day, organised by Modern Languages Teacher Ms Davies, was to share and champion the many different cultural backgrounds of students and staff in the school. 

With the enthusiastic participation of students from Year 7 to 13, the day saw students share food, traditional clothing and language from their cultural background. Student and staff-led stalls offered the opportunity to sample Greek, Polish, Chinese and Arabic snacks, including crackers, cakes, sweets and pastries. At other stalls, pupils could try on a sari, learn British Sign Language or speed-write a haiku, a traditionally Japanese form of poetry. Teacher of English Ms Solley, who wrote a haiku on diaspora and culture, described the Culture Day as a “celebration of UK diversity in an increasingly multicultural society, and of us as a community”. 

Elizabeth (Y9) brought Chinese ‘white rabbit’ sweets for her own stall and taught students how to sign their names in British Sign Language with Verity (Y9). At another table, James, Alexiy and Alex (Year 12) set up a map where students and teachers pinned the countries that were part of their heritage – which, by the end of the day, was covered in pins from Mauritius to Brazil. James enjoyed Culture Day and felt it was important in “allowing us to celebrate integral parts of our community and develop our understanding of the world”. 

Sharing Greek cuisine such as tyropita and bougatsaModern Languages Teacher Mr Koutsakis agreed: “we live in a diverse part of the world and we can only truly appreciate diversity if we know more about different cultures. It’s really important to foster cohesion and to help students realise that we have more in common than what separates us”. 

Sixth Form students got involved taking photographs and sampling food. Millie (Y13) enjoyed the fact that “everyone can get involved: it’s not exclusive”, whilst Evie (Y13) appreciated the “rich diversity of our school”. Modern Languages Teacher Ms Lukawksa highlighted that students could “get to know each other better by talking about their backgrounds outside of the lessons” and appreciate that “different does not mean worse”. 

Teacher of English Ms Diamond, who coordinates the school’s pupil-produced Culture@Colfes journal, summed up her thoughts on the importance of culture in the Colfe’s community: “Days like these provide a space for personal creative expression outside of the curriculum about things pupils care about. The students are the culture of the school and Colfe’s has a culture that celebrates uniqueness and individuality – our values that link to where we come from and where we want to be”. 

After the success of this first Culture Day, participants plan for this to happen again next year as an important way of acknowledging and cherishing cultural diversity at Colfe’s.  

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