Integration

      Holy Family – An Inclusive School

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Holy Family Primary School, Belfast is a growing multi-cultural community
welcoming children from across the world – India, Poland, Portugal, Africa
and the Philippines.

We feel privileged to have this rich diversity within our school which is
enhancing our children’s life experiences.

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The ethos of Holy Family is centred on the gospel values of love, respect,
justice and forgiveness. We foster within our children an awareness and
understanding of other faiths, cultures and traditions. We help them to appreciate
and respect what makes us different and to recognise and celebrate what we all have
in common. We recognise that the values, experiences and relationships forged within
the classroom can be a lever for greater integration, cohesion and equality across the
community as a whole.

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We aim to help our children to understand and appreciate the interdependency
within our school community, the local community and beyond.  In so doing we hope
that they will grow to become responsible citizens, able and willing to make a positive
contribution to their local communities and to society as a whole.

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In order to facilitate the integration of children from the ethnic communities into
our school and to support their learning we have created a Respect for Diversity Policy
and devised and implemented a specific programme targeting whole school and
classroom practice. This has been shared with all staff, pupils, Governors and parents.

The more visible strategies which we have employed are:
Welcoming signs in the relevant languages around the school
Languages displayed in the classrooms
‘Buddies’ appointed for new children as they arrive
Noticeboards for parents
Newsletters
Celebrations of diverse cultures at assemblies
Celebrations of  festivals
Annual ‘Multi-Cultural Day’ when we give the children opportunities to experience
the food, music, dance and dress of other cultures
Visits from other faith groups and visits to other faith centres of worship
Clubs which reflect diversity eg djembe drums
Support network for parents

Parents are actively encouraged to become involved in the life of the school.
We have employed a Polish teacher to support the large group of Polish children
and their parents. As part of our 'Extended Schools' programme we have established
a support class to help parents to learn English and to help them with other difficulties
such as housing, employment etc

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Our whole school community has embraced our ‘multi-cultural’ ethos and we can state
with confidence that it is now embedded in the life of Holy Family.