The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) explains that education should develop:
respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own
(UNCRC, 1989, Article 29, 1c)
Last week I had the privilege of visiting St Edmund’s Nursery School in Bradford. I had been told about their excellent practice with families from Central and Eastern Europe, and I wanted to learn more.
Reflecting on my visit, it strikes me that this is a school that really models the principles in Article 29 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child above. I would really recommend a visit to this school- I found it inspiring and learnt a lot to help my own practice. The school has received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from OFSTED over a number of years.
Here are a few things from my visit:
In the family story session, families from different countries joined in with a traditional fairy tale in a relaxed and welcoming way. I could hear different languages spoken, and staff who spoke these would join in: different languages were respected and encouraged. Parents and children had the opportunity to learn English together through the story telling in a fun and interactive way.
Parents stayed for a coffee afterwards and it was great to meet families and learn more about different backgrounds and experiences, and also to learn more about the work of Juraj Tancos. Juraj is the EU Migrant Workers Support Officer, and he supports many families in the community. There was a great atmosphere of mutual respect. In the classrooms, I heard different languages spoken at ease, and there were photos of children’s families in the rooms. Different cultural identities are clearly celebrated and valued in this nursery school. It’s a great example of how an Early Years setting can make a difference in the community through their values and practice.
For more information here is the nursery school’s website:
I really recommend booking a visit to see their work!
You can find the UNCRC at https://downloads.unicef.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/UNCRC_united_nations_convention_on_the_rights_of_the_child.pdf?_ga=2.172469030.462026634.1579772232-135281975.1575288281