Multiculturalism, Anti-Discriminatory Practice and Diversity Lecture


This chapter will address the issues of multiculturalism, anti-discriminatory practice and diversity. The terms will be defined, before looking at how these issues are handled within educational practice, both in terms of policy and their application in the working environment, with specific reference to one example of good practice highlighted by the Office for Standards in Education [Ofsted].

Learning objectives for this chapter

By the end of this chapter, we would like you:

  • To understand and be able to explain clearly the meaning of the terms multiculturalism, anti-discriminatory practice and diversity
  • To understand the importance of anti-discriminatory practice
  • To understand how diversity can be celebrated in the classroom
  • To appreciate how a working understanding of these terms contributes towards inclusion in a wider context

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Definition of Terms


Multiculturalism is a complex concept which Crowder (2013) believes it requires a three-part definition. Multiculturalism begins with the observation that the majority of modern societies are multicultural - they contain multiple different cultures; multiculturalists act on this in a positive, approving manner as opposed to something which they either tolerate or oppose; and multiculturalists put forward the argument that this range of cultures within society should be provided with positive recognition in terms of policy and institutions within society.

Multicultural education can be seen as a perspective, in that it is a thread which runs through all subject areas and looks at the experiences (both historic and current) of those who have been marginalised within the curriculum. The focus of multicultural, or anti-racist education, is to ensure that a balanced perspective is presented with regard to all cultures and races within global society. This approach also affords learners the opportunity to understand why current stances have been adopted and/or have been developed down the years. This aspect of education should enable practitioners, parents and students to learn the skills which will help them to address and/or combat discrimination in all its forms in order to build a society which treats everyone as equals. To that end, it is important that all parts of the school community have the opportunity to become involved with decision-making processes: for example, it is important that both parents and children have a voice with regard to school policy and/or who is employed as a new teacher (Lee, 2009). Lee (2009, p. 10) in fact argues that unless this issue is taken seriously, "… you are actually promoting a monocultural or racist education."

Anti-Discriminatory Practice

Anti-discriminatory practice can be defined as working with families promoting diversity, self-esteem and the realisation of an individual's potential whilst encouraging the recognition of the value of difference and engendering a positive identity within groups which exist in different communities (Working with Children in Barnet cited in, 2016).

In an attempt to simplify the legislation with regard to anti-discriminatory laws, the government replaced all previous legislation with the Equality Act (2010). It listed nine 'protected characteristics' which cannot, under any circumstances, be used as the reason for the unfair treatment of individuals or groups of people, these characteristics being:

  • age
  • disability
  • marriage and all civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • gender reassignment

(Moriarty, 2013)

As far as children are concerned, their right to be free from discrimination is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989). Within educational settings it is important that all dealings with children promote the value of both diversity and difference, afford children the opportunity to develop their self-esteem and a positive self-identity, in order that they are able to fulfil their individual potential whilst being a full, active member of the community (Training and Development Agency for Schools [TDA], 2007).


This term means 'difference'. When used in the context of equality, it is about identifying and respecting both individual and group differences whilst treating individuals as distinct people in their own right, highlighting this as a positive point which can enhance the community at large (National Health Service, 2012). It is a concept which encompasses both acceptance of differences and respect for those differences.

Within education, this is about the investigation of differences within a positive, safe and nurturing environment which works towards giving people a greater understanding of each other, thus facilitating moves towards the celebration of the differences that individuals bring to groups and society. It also involves recognising that all forms of discrimination create the simultaneous dichotomies of advantage and disadvantage, the challenging of those dichotomies and the development of alliances across boundaries so that societies are able to work towards the eradication of discrimination (Queensborough Community College, 2016).


Write down a definition of these three terms which, in each case, best reflects your views. Was there anything explained here which you had not considered before?

How might your personal views and opinions impact upon your approach with different individuals and groups within the classroom?

Anti-Discriminatory Practice

Anti-discriminatory practice is an important issue for everyone who is involved in working with children and young people. It recognises, values and focuses on the needs of different groups and individuals who exist within global society. Millam (2011) contends that educators are morally (and legally) obliged to ensure that every individual in their classroom, and indeed the school community, feels valued and respected to the extent that they are able to develop a positive self-identity.

It is important to recognise the fact that the Children's Acts of 1989 and 2004 changed the way in which practitioners, and those involved with the education of young people, perceived their role with regard to child welfare. These Acts legally required children's welfare and safety to be placed at the heart of educational and social provision, ensuring that due respect was being paid to their religion, culture, language and racial origins (Millam, 2011). It was the 2004 Act which gave legal status to the Every Child Matters (ECM) initiative, which published at the same time as the report into the death of Victoria Climbié, which called for a greater degree of responsibility to be accepted by all agencies working with children, including an acceptance that there needed to be better levels of communication and cooperation to ensure child safety. After the publication of Every Child Matters (Her Majesty's Government, 2003) a consultation process took place between the various groups and individuals who have a part to play in the welfare of young people - young people themselves, Social Workers, Education Psychologists, members of the teaching profession, health care professionals, parents, the police and children's charities all made contributions to the debate as to how to best support young people in their formative years.

Subsequently, Every Child Matters: The Next Steps (Department for Education and Skills [DfES], 2004) and the Children Act were published which ensured that the five aims of ECM were to be delivered as a statutory part of educational provision. These aims are to provide young people with the opportunity to learn skills which enable them to be healthy, to remain safe, to enjoy and achieve, to make a positive contribution and to have the skills to enable them to be economic least stable in their future (DfES, 2004). Further documentation was also published in 2004 (Every Child Matters: A Change for Children, DfES, 2004a) which provided statutory requirements and guidance for providers and local authorities, with the specific aim of enhancing the safety of young people whilst not curtailing their opportunity within their communities. The Childcare Act (2006) saw the advent of legislation with regard to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with this sort of focus (placing young people at the heart of educative and social processes) being further enhanced more recently with documents such as Equality Act (2010), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) and the Children and Families Act (2014).

Working within an anti-discriminatory framework is of vital importance to modern education, as it is one of the threads which links the different settings and services which are provided, in order to give the highest quality childcare for children in the United Kingdom. Services include nursery schools, day nurseries, nurseries, playgroups, childminders, children's centres, foster care, residential schools, and clubs for activities both before and after school hours. These various services can vary as a result of their location (urban or rural) and whether they are run by the Local Education Authority (LEA), voluntary and/or private organisations, charities, primary care trusts or an amalgam of various providers. No matter what the circumstances and/or the background and necessity for the childcare, parents/carers need to be assured that practitioners will provide the best possible care for their children through ensuring equality of opportunity and treatment. Clearly, there are a number of potential issues with regard to inequality which must be addressed and resolved in order for settings to fall within an anti-discriminatory framework. For example, all areas of the setting must be physically accessible for those attending, all activities on offer must be accessible both physically and intellectually to all children, and policies and practice must be reflective of an open, even handed approach towards the provision of education for all young people. Millam (2011) comments that it is only through working within an anti-discriminatory framework that the deep-seated inequality which is in evidence in society can be challenged, in order to enhance young people's life chances in the long term.

It is clear from recent figures that this type of approach is still a work in progress. A document entitled An Anatomy of Economic Equality (National Equality Panel, 2010, cited in Millam, 2011, p. 3) illustrates how deep-rooted inequality is in British society. It records that the educational outcomes of boys at 16 are below that of girls and that men's qualifications in every group up to the age of 44 are less than that of women. However, it also comments that women are paid 21% less than men (median hourly rate). It also reports that the median test scores for Asian, black African and black Caribbean boys in England are significantly lower than the national figure for all pupils. Social background is also found to have an impact upon children's early lives in that children entering primary school (2005/6) whose mothers had no qualifications above grade D at GCSE, were assessed as being six months behind those whose mothers had a degree. This evidence makes it is vitally important that those providing education for young people address the issues which exacerbate this situation, in order to make a better, brighter future for those currently in education.

To that end, it is important that practitioners are aware of their own standpoint and views, inclusive of their prejudices and attitudes, to help avoid the potential for discrimination in their classroom. Everybody has some form of stereotypical views and prejudices with these being displayed in the way in which individuals express themselves both in language and action. Inevitably, this will lead to individuals asking demanding questions about themselves and challenging themselves in areas that may need to change to avoid the potential for bias and/or discrimination (Millan, 2011). Having an understanding of why they hold their views and how they express them will allow them to mediate against the effects that this might have on those around them. It will also allow them to investigate the attitudes of society along with their pupils and have a positive influence in changing areas which negatively impact upon student outcomes.


Thinking back on your own education, note down examples of any discriminatory incidents you may have experienced or observed and reflect on how they were handled by the establishment concerned (it could be within a school, youth club or sports club, for example). Using that incident as your example, how might you handle it today?

Have someone who knows you well comment on whether you display any discriminatory tendencies. How might you go about tackling them?

Anti-Discriminatory Practice, Multiculturalism and Diversity in the Classroom

The process of engaging in anti-discriminatory practice involves encouraging equality of opportunity and the avoidance of discrimination, through practitioners not behaving in a way which could be seen as being discriminatory but also actively seeking to support children and their families in overcoming the barriers that are created, as a result of the discrimination that they experience in their lives. It is important that there is a balance between tackling the various different issues which are covered by anti-discriminatory practice (see above) in order to meet the needs of all children in a specific environment, and make them aware of their responsibilities towards the equal treatment of others (Kay, 2005).

Anti-discriminatory practice involves being aware of current legislation and guidance, particularly understanding the important issues with regard to class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and the impact that discrimination can have on pupil outcomes. Practitioners must be aware and conscious of how discrimination impacts upon society and must recognise that diversity is inclusive - we, as individuals, have multiple identities which have been developed as a result of the various influences in our lives such as our cultural background, our family, our peer group and the experiences that we have in life. In order to do this, practitioners must often undertake an honest appraisal of our personal positions, beliefs and prejudices in order to address them; in doing this, it can be helpful to engage with the promotion of a positive ethos and values with both colleagues and pupils, endeavouring to ensure that the environment within the setting is welcoming to the extent that pupils and their parents/guardians, as well is the staff, feel valued members of the community because of the differences, not in spite of them. Actively making an effort to address this, as well as engaging with colleagues and students on a personal and professional level, can help foster understanding and help to challenge one's own internal prejudices. It's also valuable to actively question your own preconceived ideas, fixed expectations and/or pre-judgements; arguably, this is the most effective path towards utilising creative and individual solutions which are effective in delivering anti-discriminatory practice. Over time and with effort, practitioners develop the ability, skills and confidence to effectively challenge and change stereotypical attitudes with regard to any discriminatory characteristics. These skills continue to grow if a practitioner is being constantly reflective with regard to personal practice in order to make adjustments as and where necessary (TDA, 2007).

If practitioners engage in this process, their practice and that of their colleagues will go a long way to ensuring that their setting is providing an inclusive environment in which children can learn. Inclusion involves the creation of a secure, welcoming, accepting atmosphere in which any barriers (genuine or imagined) are removed to provide an environment which is stimulating, and in which children are provided with equal opportunities (and therefore feel valued) to fulfil their potential. An inclusive school is one which promotes an inclusive ethos through its policies and their implementation, such that all children are able to benefit from them (Centre for Studies in Inclusive Education [CSIE], 2015).

Anti-discriminatory practice involves supporting the rights of children and young people through translating policies into practice which encourage an improvement in learners' achievement, the development of a greater awareness of self and positive relationships through active participation (Pearson, n.d.).

Raising achievement

Providing the curriculum for all children will enable them to fulfil their potential which necessitates providing a personalised timetable and/or activities as and where necessary. This illustrates an appreciation and understanding of the barriers that individuals experience which allows appropriate intervention strategies to be put in place. Allied to this support is high expectations with regard to effort and attainment on behalf of all pupils.

Developing a sense of self

Schools and individual practitioners must ensure that all learners have access to the wide range of activities that are available both inside, and in addition to, the classroom curriculum. Providing full access will lift levels of self-esteem as a result of feeling a sense of value and belonging, and being able to make a contribution. This also involves providing opportunities for individuals to take responsibility for their learning and encouraging their becoming independent learners. It is through being involved in the decision-making process about their learning that children become more motivated and therefore more likely to reach their true potential.

Positive relationships

In addition to developing an atmosphere which encourages mutual respect and positivity, children must also learn about their responsibilities in relation to others. The example that practitioners set in their formal and informal dealings with children and young people can encourage respect, making it critical that every interaction with children is seen to be considerate and fair. The formal curriculum with regard to Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship, alongside the pastoral support mechanisms can reinforce messages with regard to rights and responsibilities which serve to prepare individuals for living and working in a multicultural, multidimensional society.


All of the above is only possible if everyone within the school community participates. Learners should be provided with the opportunity to share their views and opinions about all aspects of school life and the curriculum, with this type of interaction also being afforded to their parents/guardians. It is important that these groups are given a voice, particularly with regard to school policy, by encouraging active and effective school councils and parent groups. It is also important that practitioners are cognisant of the preferred learning styles and methods of individuals and groups of pupils which necessitates their being open to listening to suggestions with regard to the improvements which might make teaching and learning more effective.

(Pearson, n.d.)


Read through the last section again. Devise a mission statement for a school which summarises inclusive and anti-discriminatory values. What kind of things do you think it would be essential to include? If you're currently working in an educational context, can you think of any aspect here which seems especially relevant to learners you've encountered?

It is important to recognise that good practice in the classroom is good practice, irrespective of where it is taking place and the background of the students who are involved in the learning process. Cole (2008, p. 1) comments that "… good teaching - teaching that is engaging, relevant, multicultural, and appealing to a variety of modalities and learning styles - works well with all children." In order to be inclusive, it is important that educators have the same high expectations for all pupils and that they understand the cultural differences between different pupils in the classroom. In addition, pupils must be afforded access to the curriculum through differentiated work which is accompanied by appropriate instruction and equal access to resources. It is critical that those for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL) have access to bilingual support in order to encourage learners' dual language ability (Cole, 2008) which in turn will boost their self-esteem as a result of adding value to their ability to speak more than one language. Inclusive practice also includes providing children with opportunities to work with a diverse range of their peers in the classroom situation, creating and using authentic learning approaches, adopting cross curricular approaches, actively engaging pupils in their learning, utilising knowledge about students learning styles, encouraging cognitive skills through problem solving, adopting approaches which celebrate diversity, using a diverse range of assessment methods, and adopting constructivist teaching methods which allow pupils to build upon their existing knowledge. It also requires practitioners to organise the environment in order to create and manage a stimulating learning culture, not only in the classroom but also throughout the whole school community (Cole, 2008).

Diversity in practice

Schools are able to demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice, multiculturalism and diversity in a number of different ways. One example of anti-discriminatory practice that can be adopted is that of running breakfast clubs. Breakfast clubs are an opportunity for schools to provide children with a nutritious breakfast prior to the start of the school day. This sort of facility began in the 1990s, partly as a way of addressing increasing demands for supervised childcare before the formal start of the school day, but have increasingly become a vital source of nutrition for children who live in areas of social deprivation. Many schools now operate breakfast clubs, with supermarket chains supporting their establishment and maintenance by offering vouchers to buy equipment for them. The provision of these clubs helps schools to meet their obligations with regard to the Childcare Act (2006) and some of the ECM objectives. It is important that the support provided by breakfast clubs is targeted in order to help those most in need. As a part of establishing such a club, practitioners and support staff should meet in order to identify children that would benefit from a positive start to the day through engaging in structured activities and enjoying a healthy breakfast. In the first instance, it is important to identify those families who would not be in a position to contribute in any way financially (looking at their eligibility for free school meals), and securing funding for those places (for example, Magic Breakfast, Greggs Breakfast Club Programme). Those who are in a better financial position can be asked to make a contribution, calculated on a sliding scale depending upon their economic resources. The children involved are invited to participate in activities such as games (both physical and mental), reading, and using ICT prior to having their breakfast. During the course of the activities and whilst sitting together to eat, the children develop social skills and confidence as they talk with each other. They learn to collaborate and cooperate with each other whilst engaged in the activities, and in the process of clearing away and tidying up after eating. It is important to recognise that this process sitting down to eat with others is something which many children are not exposed to in the modern family.

Research by Yardley (n.d.) into the benefits for children who attended breakfast clubs (in terms of attendance, behaviour, attainment, confidence and social skills), the impact on their learning (from the perspective of practitioners) and the benefits to parents was completed through a mixture of questionnaires, focus groups and interactive feedback. The parents (seven families) engaged in a focus group and a questionnaire whilst the children took part in activities which explored their views on what they enjoyed about the breakfast club, the meaning of healthy eating and whether their attendance improved their performance at school. The practitioners gave their impressions via a survey; the findings indicated that there was a good understanding of what it meant to have a healthy breakfast. However, the parents of those attending appeared to be less interested in the food aspect of the club, with many admitting that they did not know what the children were given to eat. The children themselves had no real idea about why the club helped them to do better at school, but one did comment that they were better able to concentrate when their belly didn't hurt. The children were in agreement with regard to the fact that going to the breakfast club does to help them to do better at school; they noted improvements in terms of their focus and concentration, and their ability to arrive on time for classes. Practitioners also noted that as a result of their being more focused, children's concentration and attainment levels had risen. Parents noted that their children were more confident and enthusiastic about attending school and that they were more sociable as a result of interacting with others at the start of the school day.

One approach that could be taken in celebrating diversity and multiculturalism is in following a thematic study in a primary school class. For example, stories from around the world could be examined, allowing children to look at the stories which come from their familial culture and background, as well as those that are commonly known to all. Stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk and Goldilocks and the Three Bears could be read as British or English stories, as well as those from the children's culture (for example Indian, Pakistani, Chinese) with examples from Aesop's Fables as a generic world stories. It is clear that literacy work can be conducted as a central theme to this project, with links to Art, History, Geography, Religious Education (RE), Music, Citizenship and Physical Education (PE) (Department for Education, 2014 for details of curriculum content). It is important that the children appreciate the literature for its story content and its meaning as well is being able to trace its historical roots within a culture. These may well be concerned with a regions religious persuasion, for example, in India the main religion is Hinduism with its stories about different gods, many of which have colourful images associated with them. The children could be encouraged to make comparisons between images concerned with stories from different cultures and in creating their own images to represent those stories. Furthermore, they could be encouraged to write their own stories which could be accompanied by their own artwork. It is also important that the children are able to locate their cultural origins in terms of their geographical location.

Some stories, such as those in the Chinese and Indian traditions, can be accompanied by different dances which can also be investigated as a part of PE and expressive movement. Parents and/or cultural groups could be invited in to demonstrate these dances and to teach them to the children as a part of this themed project. In addition, the children could be encouraged to work in groups to make up their own dance to accompany a story, which could equally be accompanied by some music which is drawn from the same culture. What should be stressed as a part of this work is the importance of someone's roots and how their culture contributes to modern British society. This can form part of the Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in that it encourages learners to understand the cultural make-up of not only their local environment, but of society at large, and to embrace the differences that they find there.

This example also affords opportunities for children to engage with cooking in that some of the stories could well involve food. Parental and community involvement can be encouraged through inviting parents in to share their culinary skills with the children and to cook with them in order to produce and to sample foods from different cultures, bearing in mind that there are food restrictions which might apply to some children. Not only does this make children more aware of the different cultures which exist within British society and their roots, but also helps them to learn life skills (using utensils safely, how to cook, had to cooperate with others) in the process.

A good example of this type of approach is provided in an Ofsted (2014) report on the Jenny Hammond Primary School and their approach towards multiculturalism and diversity through literacy. The approach taken by the school has been highlighted as an example of good practice, particularly in view of the fact that in their catchment in East London, 28 different languages are spoken by the children and its staff. It is picked out as having a strong philosophy of acceptance and respect for everyone and their differences. As a part of their approach towards anti-discriminatory practice, it has embraced the challenge of tackling the issue of homophobia, helping the children to engage with age-appropriate literature and related activities which does much to aid their social and emotional development as well as the literacy skills. It also celebrates national events such as International Women's Month, Black History Month and Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month. For a number of years, the school has celebrated its own Diversity Week, timing it to coincide with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered (LGBT) History Month. In this week, the children engage in a variety of different activities which are related to a core book which tackle a range of themes including that of families, gender stereotypes and LGBT historical figures.

Examples are provided of the sorts of books and activities which could accompany such an undertaking. Elmer (David McKee) is the story of a multi-coloured elephant who painted himself grey in order to pretend that he was not different. The lesson investigates why he might have done this and why people might hide who they really are in order to make themselves fit in. The Boy With The Pink Hair (Perez Hilton and Jen Hill) is about a boy whose pink hair makes him look different and how he addresses and overcomes bullying. Learners are encouraged to think about how they are the same and yet different, investigating links into fears, phobias and bullying. The Harvey Milk Story (Kari Krakow and David Gardner) looks at the whole idea of fighting against discrimination and for human rights, and the notion of hope through reading the story (non-fiction) of Harvey Milk. The end of the week sees an opportunity for the children to share their work with others. This sort of experience is invaluable in that it allows children the opportunity to investigate concepts and issues in depth but the leadership team of this school are well aware of the fact that these sorts of anti-discriminatory approaches which celebrate diversity must occur as a part of children's everyday learning experiences.

Ofsted also comments upon the way in which parents are involved in this process, in that they are party to the planning of this week. They are also encouraged to spend time with their children in Key Stage 1 and 2 classes to further their understanding of curriculum content. Good relationships are also forged as a result of home visits which take place before children into the Reception class, which allows for background information to be gathered about each individual child as well as helping to put parents' minds at rest with regard to the attitudes and approach of the school. Ofsted comment that the ethos that is created around the school is one which respects and welcomes every member of every family in the community, irrespective of their background, their gender or their sexuality. They also comment that pupils have a clear understanding of the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and are respectful of each other as a result of the 'Rights and Respect' agenda which exists throughout the school. The extent of this understanding is demonstrated by the fact that, on the rare occasions when inappropriate and/or homophobic language is used, the children address it for themselves, which has a lasting impact on the child who was using the language in the first place.


Why, in your opinion, is it important that children are aware of their roots and the cultural make-up of the community in which they live? Do you think that engaging with activities within an anti-discriminatory framework will help learners in their future lives? Give reasons for your answer.

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Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE) (2015) 'What is inclusion?' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from

Childcare Act (2006) London: The Stationary Office

Children and Families Act (2014) London: The Stationary Office

Cole, R. W. (2008) 'Educating Everybody's Children: We Know What Works - And What Doesn't.' in Cole, R. W. (Ed) Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners (2nd Ed) Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development pp. 1 - 40

Crowder, G. (2013) Theories of Multiculturalism: An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press

Department for Education (2014) National Curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4. Retrieved 29th November 2016 from

Department for Education and Skills (2004) Every Child Matters: Next Steps London: Department for Education and Skills

Equality Act (2010) London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office

Her Majesty's Government (2003) Every Child Matters. London: The Stationary Office

Kay, J. (2005) Teaching Assistant's Handbook. Primary Edition. London: Continuum

Lee, E. (2009) 'Taking Multicultural, Anti-Racist Education Seriously: An interview with Enid Lee.' in Au, W. (Ed) Rethinking Multicultural Education. Teaching for racial and cultural justice Wisconsin: Rethinking Schools

Millam, R. (2011) A Guide for Those Working with Children and Young People. (3rd Ed) London: Continuum International Publishing Group

Moriarty, J. (2013) 'Social workers should use Equality Act to embed anti-discriminatory practice.' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from

National Health Service (2012) 'What is Equality and Diversity?' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from

Office for Standards in Education [Ofsted] (2014) 'Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same?' - creating a school community that celebrates diversity: the Jenny Hammond Primary School. London: Ofsted

Pearson (n.d.) 'TDA 2.4. Equality, diversity & inclusion in work with children & young people.' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from

Queensborough Community College (2016) 'Definition for Diversity.' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from (2016) 'What is anti-discriminatory practice?' Retrieved 28th November 2016 from

Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) London: The Stationary Office

Training and Development Agency for Schools [TDA] (2007) Support Staff Induction: Inclusion. London: TDA

Yardley, S. (n.d.) 'Breakfast Clubs: Much More Than Toast and Cereal.' Retrieved 29th November 2016 from

Scenario: Multiculturalism, Anti-Discriminatory Practice and Diversity

Year 8 - Development Day - Different cultures make up British Culture


You have been asked to plan an experiential day for Year 8 pupils which draws out various different cultural influences which contribute towards the make-up of the British society. How would you go about completing this task and structure of the day?


The children at this school are used to an ethos which fosters respect, with the setting operating with an anti-discriminatory framework. The culture within the school is one which very much welcomes diversity and embraces the notion that different is good.

Initially it is important to explore the full extent of the cultures within the British society and investigate how this might be best expressed through a series of group activities. Clearly, it is not going to be possible to engage with every different culture which exist within the United Kingdom, but is it important to cover three or four in Development Days (one per term) which in Year 8 are given over to exploring multiculturalism, anti-discriminatory practice and diversity.

The initial part of the process would involve finding out the extent to which local individuals would be able to facilitate various different activities. Then the search would widen to cover different areas of the country, inviting individuals and/or groups to become involved in this venture, whilst keeping within the budget set by the bursar. The school is fortunate in the sense that its catchment area contains many different food outlets whose origins are from different parts of the world. Past experience indicates that these businesses are more than willing to share their culture with young people in order that there is a better understanding of it, whilst sharing their love of food. There is also a large Chinese and Japanese community in the immediate vicinity, some of whom are already involved in the wider school community.

Prior to finalising arrangements for this day, it is important to liaise with the various different departments who will be involved in the venture. The sports hall will only be required for part of the afternoon in that a large space will be required for the dance displays which will finish off the day. The cooking and art areas will also be required for the duration of the first two sessions, whilst larger classrooms can be used to accommodate the different dance groups. It is anticipated that some of the traditional sports can take place outside whilst others can utilise the facilities in the small gym.

This particular day is concerned with Indian and Asian traditions, encompassing a range of activities including dance, traditional sports, Yoga, Tai Chi, Origami and Japanese Woodblock Printing and cooking. Each child will undertake two activities during the course of the rearranged day - Session 1 will begin at 9.00 allowing for groups to set up their activities and time for students to arrive at the right place. Session 2 will begin at 12.30 with the students having had a short lunch break between 1145 and 1230. Session 3 will take place in the sports hall, which all of the children will attend.

Students would be able to opt for one of the four activities in each of the first two sessions. Activities A and D in both sessions would take up the whole time. In Activities B and D, the children would spend half the time on each activity.

The cooking groups could be overseen by local restauranteurs/chefs and/or parents who have experience of traditional cooking. The leaders of the other activities would be specialist dance groups and/or instructors who are qualified to deliver activities in schools, with the commensurate clearance to do so. Each of these leaders will be asked to place their activities into a cultural context, covering the history of each whilst the children are engaging with it. It also important that each of these activities are linked to its cultural origins and the fact that many of them have become a part of British society as a whole (particularly that of different cultural foods). The activities have been designed in order to provide a range, so that all of the children can become involved, irrespective of any learning issues and/or disabilities they may have. The leaders of each activity will also be aware of the make-up of each of the groups with whom they will work, particularly with regard to children who have specific educational needs and/or those who are learning EAL. Those who need additional support will be provided with it, particularly those who have any form of Statement of Special Needs.

Session 1

Activity AIndian Cooking (3 groups)

Activity BOrigami and Japanese Woodblock Printing (3 groups)

Activity CIndian Dance, Chinese Dance, Traditional Sports from Asia

Activity DYoga, Tai Chi

Session 2

Activity AChinese Cooking (3 groups)

Activity BOrigami and Japanese Woodblock printing (3 Groups)

Activity CIndian Dance, Chinese Dance, Traditional Sports from Asia

Activity DYoga, Tai Chi

Session 3

Traditional Indian Dance and Dragon Dance display

Some of the students would also be engaged in producing material for the school website, recording interviews and taking stills and video footage of each of the activities as they are ongoing, for posting during the course of the day.

The homework for the children will be to reflect upon their experiences of the day and to return to school the next morning with a written statement as to what they had done, what they had learnt and why it was important to have been involved in the Development Day.

It is also important that the effectiveness of the day is also gauged by feedback from those who have delivered each of the sessions and the practitioners who have been supervising and/or involved with each session. It is only through this feedback process that any amendments necessary can be made in order to make future ventures successful.

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