School in Plaistow celebrates diversity in week of international food and arts activities

West Ham MP Lyn Brown visited Curwen to help them celebrate International Week. Picture: Curwen Prim

West Ham MP Lyn Brown visited Curwen to help them celebrate International Week. Picture: Curwen Primary - Credit: Archant

A Plaistow primary school has just finished a week-long celebration of its’ pupils’ diversity.

Curwen Primary School celebrated ‘International Week’, to pay homage to the 100 languages and 50 heritages represented by its students.

The week inolved activities aimed at teaching students about different cultural backgrounds, and many events were attended by West Ham MP, Lyn Brown.

Paul Harris, head of Curwen Primary, said: “It was a fantastic week, which has grown from small beginnings. It’s very special to Curwen.

“The children are proud of their heritage and are very eager to share theirs and showcase their learning of countries other than their own. There is much for us all to learn from this and value as part of living in modern Britain. This is what makes Curwen, Curwen.”

The week kicked off with a citizenship assembly and parent food competition. For the assembly, teachers had selected two pupils from each class who they believed had shown resilience this year – either through working especially hard in lessons or helping other children. The ‘resilience champions’ were presented with a badge.

The food competition saw parents making a traditional sweet or savoury dish from their home countries, which were then judged. A record number of parents entered this year - the first year where there were two categories.

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On Wednesday there was a ‘mini world’ competition, in which each class took on a country to represent. Pupils visited each other’s ‘country’, learning phrases in the local language and trying the region’s traditional foods. Parents were also invited to join in. They commented on the sense of pride which children clearly felt in expressing a heritage, and they said it taught the children how to value different backgrounds.

The week ended with a fashion show and carnival, in which children showcased traditional dress from different cultures down a catwalk. They also choreographed performances which were judged – the winners were Year Four, representing Brazil and Argentina.

Lyn Brown, who attended the carnival said: “This was the best part of my week. I loved every bit of it. The children were beautiful.”