A Lesson In Multicultural Harmony at Aspiri Primary
September 5, 2019
With students from every continent in the world, Aspiri Primary is leading the way in creating a harmonious environment. Children from all cultures play together, and respect one another’s cultural and religious beliefs. And in doing so, they gain a truly global perspective and maturity that is truly admirable.
Creating Multicultural Harmony
Principal Noel Morgan says the secret to his success is “creating an environment where there are no prejudices. We have a philosophy where every child is treated as a child. Nobody is made to feel as though they are different, no matter what their background or situation. As a result, we have a very balanced school with a lot of social harmony.”
Some of the strategies he employs at the school to create such a harmonious environment include:
- Celebrating a range of multicultural events. This includes traditional Australian events like Anzac Day; a Harmony Day festival with national costumes; and book week, which showcases an amazing range of costumes from popular books around the world. There’s also plans to host a multicultural fair.
- The school has an active and supportive Board and P&C – both of which aim to represent all groups within its multicultural family.”
- A wide variety of ways students can earn points for their ‘house’ (similar to a faction) – athletics, maths, spelling, poetry and more.
- Teaching of auslan sign language. It’s fun to learn, doesn’t favour any culture and is globally relevant.
- Catering for cultural needs. There are prayer rooms and allowances for prayer times; halal, chicken and vegetarian food at school functions; and considerations in sports participation during Ramadan. The school consciously thinks about the impacts of decisions on the religious and ethnic requirements of the community.
- Adoption of HEART values – honesty, effort, attitude, respect & teamwork, with a particularly strong emphasis on respect. “We have an expectation that everyone has manners. We insist on it. We respect the kids and they respect us” he says.
A Global Perspective
Principal Morgan also notes that one of the key advantages of such a wide variety of cultures is that the students give, and gain, a really global perspective on issues and curriculum. When problems or difficulties arise, students are able to refer to experiences from other countries and provide a fresh perspective on ways their culture may deal with the same issue.
With a mix of refugees and families from so many different countries, there’s also “amazing stories” from all the different families about their life experiences.
Overcoming Language Barriers
With 52 language groups represented in Aspiri Primary School currently, some common questions that many parents have is what happens if the students don’t speak English? How do they learn? How do they communicate with each other?
“Kids are very adept at picking up languages. They learn English really quickly” notes Principal Morgan. When students have come straight from overseas, a literacy assessment is done. The majority of students simply pick up the language at school through the general curriculum. However, there is a formal EASL – English As A Second Language – program. Here students can be referred to an English Learning centre for up to a few months and then return to school.
Mr Morgan also notes that the school is academically very strong. There is a very strong commitment to education by the vast majority of families.
A Community Hub
The school maintains an open, warm and supportive feel. Kids run in with a smile. They are taught in a caring, compassionate environment where everyone is embraced.
Parents are encouraged into the school and classrooms – for parent help, meetings and events. It’s common for parents and kids to be greeted by teachers and staff, and parents are welcome to have ‘doorstop’ conversations when they drop their kids off.
There’s also a strong focus on recruitment of staff who are positive, engaging, passionate and affable. This helps to make new families feel welcome and ensures that teachers live and breathe the HEART values.
Enrolments & Intake Area
Contact the school for parent nights and enrolment information here.
- 30 Sunray Avenue, Piara Waters WA 6112
- Ph: (08) 9397 8300.