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On Thursday 5th July representatives from the Diversity Forum went to The Civic Hall to join other shortlisted schools to see who had won The Nameste Youth Project which is a celebration of religious and cultural diversity.
The Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, representatives from different faith organisations in Leeds and the shortlisted schools gathered for a programme of dance, speeches and presentations of the entries. We were delighted and humbled to be named winners of this competition and £500 prize money.
The inspiration behind our entry into The Nameste Youth Project competition was our desire to showcase the things we do every day at our school. We are a diverse school with students coming from all over the world and it is our goal as the Diversity Forum to make every student feel at home where ever they are from.
The Diversity Forum has been running for 3 years and we collaborate each year to plan a calendar of events that promote inclusion and celebrate our many cultures and encourage community. We meet regularly at lunchtimes and after school and we have leaders in every year group but involve as many other pupils from the school as we can at each event.
Our entry was a short video which gives a snap shot into the events and projects we have taken up this year. We wanted other schools to see just how many things you can do to celebrate community and collaboration
These are some of the things we have planned, organised and run this academic year …. Tea and Coffee from around the world at open evening, A Chinese New Year Lunch, An Eritrean Lunch, Brazilian Fiesta, Parent coffee mornings twice a term Story Telling in home languages at the Compton Centre, creating whole school faith displays …Refugee awareness assemblies and tutor period activities, A whole day of workshops and presentations at a rural primary school. Teaching English children about a day in the life as a muslim….. We organised a community picnic and lots of people came, we made kites had ice cream and raised lot of money.
We have also worked closely with My Bright Kite, a charity that supports refugees. We interviewed Gulwali Passarlay an Afghan author and created a video resource for High Schools to use to understand more about child refugees and welcoming new arrivals. We made bracelets and messages of hope for children in a camp in Jordan…WE HAVE BEEN REALLY BUSY!
It is our job as the Diversity Forum to make sure everyone in our school feels valued, welcome and included. That we share our different cultures and promote harmony between all students and that every pupil has equal rights and responsibilities.
We are very proud that we have won this Nameste Award and of all the work we do as a Diversity Forum at Lawnswood School has been recognised. We will continue to take on new projects and keep promoting inclusion celebrating the multicultural community we are. Please see our award winning video at the following link.
The Lawnswood School Diversity Forum