ARDEE Educate Together is set to gain a fourth national environmental flag, the first school in the country to do so.
The Yellow Flag initiative just like the Green Schools Flag, is both a practical programme and an award scheme. It provides a practical series of eight steps to bring interculturalism, equality and diversity into the daily life of the school.
“We are a multicultural, multidenominational and co-educational school,” said school principal Anne Middleton.
“We embrace equality and diversity as part of our school ethos. We celebrate different cultures, ethnicities, faiths, abilities and socio-economic groups. Here we believe that it’s important to give our young people an insight into the various different groups in society, to embrace diversity and to see everyone as equal. Every year we hold a Multicultural and Anti-Racism Week.
“We invite our international parents into our classes to cook their traditional food for pupils to taste. The food is delicious and you will see plenty of people licking their lips with very full tummies. No need for school lunch on that particular day!
Pupils, parents and staff dress up in different national costumes from various countries. This is always a colourful display and it really is amazing to see the lengths that some people will go to just to get their costumes exactly right.
“We have music and dance from around the world as we have pupils from every continent. Our international parents tell us about the customs and traditions in their various countries. This is all very useful in our project work.
This year the theme of Sport has been added to the celebrations. This is proving to be a very big hit with our pupils. They really enjoyed trying out the most popular sports in each of the countries we have represented in school. We had international sports and games with cricket from India, baseball from America, soccer from Europe and Africa, just to mention a few.
Louth Leader Partnership provided us with a “Show Racism the Red Card” Workshop given by Gareth Mullen. We had a visit from the huge man sized mascot “Jeff the Ref”, the big brown dog who will referee our friendly football match. So it was very much fun and games during Multicultural Week at Ardee Educate Together NS.”
The school is looking forward to getting its Yellow Flag for Diversity in the coming weeks. At present they fly a Green Flag for environment, a H.S.E. Yellow Flag for Health Promotion and a Blue Flag for sports/activies.
As far as they know they will be the only school in the county with all four flag awards.
Well done to all the pupils for all their hard work! They deserve their summer holidays in a few weeks time!
And well done to all the staff.