Victoria Leggett, Education correspondent
Saturday, February 16, 2013
From the fierce movements of a Maori Haka to the graceful leaping of animals in the African desert, pupils at a Norwich primary school have enjoyed learning about different cultures.
A week of activities has seen the children at Ghost Hill Infant School in Taverham trying Italian food, making Chinese dragons and Aboriginal art, and even watching their teachers perform an Egyptian dance.
The multicultural week culminated yesterday with performances by youngsters in years one and two.
After just five hours of rehearsals with dance teacher Jenna Woods, bluebell class dressed up as their favourite African animals for a dance to The Lion King song Circle of Life while violet class performed a traditional Haka from New Zealand.
Deputy headteacher Anna Noble said: “They have loved it, absolutely loved it. It’s nice to sometimes come off timetable. I think the children learn just as much, if not more.”
At the start of the week, every child at the school was issued with a passport which would allow them to travel around the school to discover a variety of cultures.
Each classroom was transformed into a different country and in the afternoons pupils would enter a new room, have their passport stamped, and learn about that place.
“The children went to Africa and made African animals out of junk,” said Mrs Noble. “In China they made Chinese dragons and in Australia they did Aboriginal art. In France and Italy they did food tastings.
“When the children did the Haka, they learned all about the tribal dances and why they were doing it. It was also just as important to teach them about London and England and the country they live in.”
Teaching assistants who speak French and German also helped children learn a few words in the two languages while teachers learned an Egyptian dance which they performed to the whole school during a special assembly.
Morning lessons aimed to incorporate multicultural themes into the pupils’ numeracy and literacy classes.
Headteacher Frances Rowell said the school aimed to run a full week of multicultural events every four years to ensure all children at the school got to take part. “After half term we’ve got a book week and sometimes we will run a health week,” she added. “We have also done a maths week in the past. The pupils are always very enthusiastic.”