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Culture Day at Herts and Essex High School in Bishop's Stortford in pictures





Nations united as Herts & Essex High School in Bishop's Stortford hosted its first ever Culture Day.

The whole-school event celebrated the Warwick Road secondary community’s rich and varied cultural diversity.

Organised by the school's student-led Diversity and Anti-Racism and Equality group (DARE), Culture Day was the brainchild of Year 13 student Ijeoma Nwagwu, inspired by her social media research on similar events in other schools.

Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103138)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103138)

"It made me think about the benefits of hosting a culture day at Herts & Essex," said Ijeoma. "Seeing the mix of cultures and ethnicities really brought a smile to my face, and I wanted our school community to have the chance to experience that first-hand.”

Students from all six year groups put forward ideas for themed stalls showcasing countries and cultures with which they had a personal connection. Thirty were chosen for the event on Friday (March 17).

Staff joined students in immersing themselves in the cultural activities from a wide variety of countries, ranging from those close to home, such as Scotland and Ireland, to nations further afield in mainland Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103031)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103031)

The school’s Old Hall was a hive of activity with an eclectic global soundtrack as students were transported around the world.

They ate patties in Jamaica and dumplings in Vietnam, danced in the Philippines, smelled spices in India and island-hopped around Greece, amid a plethora of world experiences.

Ijeoma said afterwards: “It has been a beautiful day. The atmosphere in the Old Hall was so welcoming and refreshing; there was something for everyone to take part in.

"As well as it being a time to celebrate the diversity in our school community, it was also a time for people to connect with each other on a different level and to learn about cultures they may not have been previously exposed to.”

Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103068)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103068)

The 80 students running stalls were not the only ones in colourful attire. All students took part in a themed non-uniform day. The school was awash with an array of colours, fabrics and flags, and students represented their cultural heritage with pride.

Money raised from the non-uniform day was in aid of Arcadia, an organisation which supports work to preserve endangered cultural heritage, protect endangered ecosystems and promote access to knowledge.

Executive headteacher Cathy Tooze said: “Culture Day was a great success. It was inspiring to see students sharing their pride in their cultural heritage and wonderful to see students and staff wearing items of significance for them.

Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103106)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103106)

"The day served as a reminder that the people we work with every day, both in school and beyond, are part of many interesting and diverse communities.

"It was a fantastic day. I'm very grateful to the students and staff for their hard work. Let's hope that Culture Day becomes a regular future fixture at Herts & Essex."

Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103097)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103097)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102914)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102914)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102925)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102925)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102930)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102930)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102961)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102961)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102976)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63102976)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103038)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103038)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103108)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103108)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103110)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103110)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103122)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103122)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103124)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103124)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103127)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103127)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103129)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103129)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103131)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103131)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103133)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103133)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103145)
Culture Day at Herts & Essex (63103145)
Mr Christophy, Miss Oben-Etchi and DARE group organisers (63103151)
Mr Christophy, Miss Oben-Etchi and DARE group organisers (63103151)

* If your school is hosting a colourful event, please contact the Indie's newsroom by email on newsdesk@stortfordindie.co.uk.



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