Mrs Harman-Box 17.2.20

Last Friday, we held our Nepali Day celebrations. As part of this, the community is welcomed into school and traditional food, songs and dancing are shared with the rest of the school. It gives us the opportunity to thank you our Nepali community for the value that they bring to our school so it’s odd to think that just a few years ago we were not running events like this. Our calendar is now full of a huge range of events, each one targets to both provide an acknowledgement of the contribution and support we are given as a school, and to increase engagement with a vulnerable group.

Our journey to positioning ourselves as the centre of our community has coincided with our efforts to develop our results academically as it has been crucial to pay homage to those around us who have allowed us to make significant progress. For any state school, it is important to reflect the community in which you are placed. It is well-known that children need to see models of what they can be and see themselves celebrated if they are going to aim for the highest point they could reach. You could see it on their faces when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and they saw their skin colour in the British Royal family. You can see it when they want Newsround and the presenter is in a wheelchair, and they see their physical needs on television. And you can see it when their cultures are all around them, being celebrated by their friends, with whom they may not share their culture. It is vital to building rounded and tolerant people.

The events also encourage parental engagement. We rely heavily on parents for their support and, without them, we simply would be manage to hold as many as we do. At our Nepali Day, parents provided huge mountains of food for us to sell as a charity fundraiser and then also served it alongside us. At a Dads Vs. Kids rugby tournament, boys got to see their fathers (or any other male relative they wanted to bring) invested in their school community. At Family Camp Out, whole families stayed overnight on our school field and enjoyed a barbecue. It might seem unrelated to the children’s learning, but it creates open channels of communication and a strong sense of trust between parents and school.

Key to ensuring the success of these events is also the conferencing that we do afterwards. Initially, this will be parents as we need to get their responses on a survey before they leave the event. We can then analyse this information and we use this to do better in the future. We also conference with the children to get their opinions too. They have a real voice within our school. The children and parents know that we understand their needs.

On top of all of that, we get to have an enormous amount of fun doing it all!