To mark Refugee Week (19-25 June 2023) Liverpool’s Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) has commissioned a project to celebrate the cultural diversity in the city’s schools.
The project brought together Year 4 children from Kingsley Primary School in Toxteth, alongside local artist Alice Küchemann and musician Martin Snape to celebrate Liverpool’s world-famous welcome and the city’s ‘kaleidoscope of cultures.’
After researching countries and cultures, children designed their own ‘friendly’ flag, using their favourite colours, and things that were special to them. Children performed a specially composed song by local musician, Martin Snape and recorded a series of ‘welcomes’ in their home languages – highlighting the diversity within Liverpool schools.
Children also got a chance to turn their creations into a stop-frame animation, featuring Liverpool’s legendary liver birds. You can watch the children’s short animation on YouTube
As part of a wider programme of inclusion, EMTAS lead the ‘School of Sanctuary (SoS)’ charter for Liverpool – which recognises what it means to be a safe and welcoming place for all students and their families.
A SoS helps its students, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and extends a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the school community. It is a school that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all.
Donna Palmer, Curriculum and Pastoral Support Officer at EMTAS and Creative Director for the project said, “Liverpool is very proud of its cultural tapestry and with over 100 languages spoken in the city, we wanted to do something that both recognised and celebrated the diversity within our schools and the welcome extended to refugees and people seeking sanctuary.”
Alison Whittaker, Headteacher at Kingsley Primary School said, “Our school welcomes families from across the world – which makes our school both exciting and unique. Over 30 languages are spoken at Kingsley, so we are very talented, multilingual school and we love to celebrate all we have in common as well as our differences. We are very proud of what the children have created as part of this project.”
Artist, Alice Küchemann who has over 25 years’ experience of delivering creative projects said, “It was a pleasure to work with such enthusiastic young people with a passion for their dual heritage. We enjoyed spending time being creative and sharing language and information about our families, countries and culture.”
Refugee Week is the world’s largest arts and culture festival, celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. The vision for Refugee Week is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution. For more information, visit: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/