A DAY of learning about the importance of celebrating diversity was recently held at Looe Community Academy.

Year 8 and 9 students were involved in learning about the culture of Sikhi and Sanatana Dharma (the native name for Hinduism). InspirAsian from Truro led year eights in learning different sections of a dance which everyone joined in with during the reflection and celebration session at the end of the day. Charlotte, who led the session, said: “I am still buzzing from being at the school yesterday. It was a real success.”

Students also explored the facts behind hate crime, with some students learning how to check the truth of stories from the internet to make them more digitally aware. There were also visiting speakers from Bude promoting women working in STEM.

As the following day was the Jewish festival of Purim – a festival that marked the triumph of good over evil persecution – students made some scrumptious Hamantaschen.

Connected to this theme was the subject of antisemitism and the Holocaust. Students were fortunate to hear about a Holocaust survivor called Solly’s story from Johnathan Marshall MBE, the pioneer of the Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity.

The academy’s creative output on the day was also in full swing. In Textiles, students made a colourful “Diversity quilt” based on the “Some People Are.”

A campaign which recognised our differences both in the school, local and national communities. Making a huge impact was a mural inspired by the work of Keith Haring, who did much to champion the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the day, Year 9 students led by one of the Art specialists Lesa Welch created a mural celebrating diversity and highlighting how it feels to be in a community on the receiving end of hatred.

One Year 8 student said afterwards: “Before I would have done nothing,” if he had witnessed some sort of hate crime. “Now I will call someone out on it or stand up for them”.

Another student from Year 9 said: “The most important thing I’ve learned today is to be respectful and tolerant”.

Organiser Liz Fowkes said: “Diversity Day was a real success and students got to experience the world through a different lens. Hopefully they will utilise these skills and attitudes in the future when encountering prejudice and discrimination.”