independent

Friday 29 August 2014

School celebration of its cultural diversity

Published 18/06/2014 | 05:20

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David Arekame and Emmanuel Azeez.

SAINT JOSPEPH'S National School was awash with colour, fashion and excitement last week when the staff, parents and children celebrated the rich diversity of cultures within the school community.

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The school has been working very hard all year to fulfil the eight steps of the Yellow Flag programme and hopes to achieve its flag. The programme, pioneered by The Irish Traveller Movement, is a progressive equality and diversity initiative for schools which promotes and supports an environment for interculturalism.

St Joseph's has engaged the students, staff, management, parents and wider community groups throughout the programme in a range of activities and initiatives including meetings, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, parent workshops and staff training.

The students have been immersed in a culture of integration and celebration learning about their place in society, racism, other cultures, languages and also engaging with a wide range of multicultural songs, music, dance, literature, art and drama .

Intercultural Day saw the students present their work to an audience of parents, staff, students and visitors. The school was delighted to welcome Sr Joan Watters, chairperson of the Board of Management, Fr Paddy Stanley, school chaplain, representatives from the Yellow Flag programme Sarah Russell and Marie O'Hare, and Bernard Kenna from the Louth Traveller Support Group.

Bernard made a short presentation and displayed photographs from the Traveller culture. The school was also delighted to welcome Bunmi Salako who has worked in the school and has written and published cultural books from the school, and her daughter Emmanuella Salako, a past pupil of the school who is a dance teacher and has been teaching dance to the students throughout the year.

In addition, the school welcomed back Kalichi O'Donahue, who has also been teaching dance. Irish culture featured on the programme with a display by Carmel Connolly's dancing school.

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