Mere Green Diversity Festival – A week-long exploration of identity and culture at Mere Green Primary School culminated in a colourful Diversity Festival, with hundreds of people enjoying food, music and dancing from a variety of cultures.

Students at the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, spent the week learning about themselves and their own heritage, as well as other cultures from around the world.

They each created a colourful self-portrait in the style of Margo McDaid, which were assembled in a dazzling display in the school hall.

All this excitement built up to the fantastic Multicultural Festival on Friday, June 21. The children were treated to a variety of foods from the Caribbean, India, Greece, China and Britain, including jerk chicken, chow mein, samosas, pakoras, souvlaki and fish and chips.

Music filled the air as the school’s Young Voices and Rising Voices choirs performed, as well as Bollywood dancers from the school’s very own after-school club. A steel pan ensemble had attendees dancing too.

One of the highlights of the festival was a spectacular Bhangra dancing performance by Simran Kaur, who was accompanied by her father playing the Dohl Drum.

Acting Headteacher Lucia Thornton said the event was a remarkable success.

Miss Thornton said:

“We’re a large, multicultural school, so we wanted to bring everyone together to celebrate diversity. It’s turned out to be a fantastic event – everyone embraced it and our children did us incredibly proud. “

The festival was opened by respected and experienced education leader Ava Sturridge-Packer CBE (pictured above right, with Lucia Thornton), who has been working with the ATLP’s 24 schools and one Teaching School Hub since the start of 2024 to define its equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy.

Miss Thornton said: “I’d like to thank Ava. She’s worked with us across the academic year to make sure we’re encapsulating the whole culture and diversity Mere Green has to offer.”

Ava said:

“The festival was absolutely amazing – a real celebration of diversity and all the work which the staff have been doing. I’m amazed by the turnout. It’s lovely to see such a mix of cultures in a natural, positive way. It’s definitely something for other schools to emulate!”