St John Paul II CPS Community Celebration of Culture

18 April 2023

St John Paul II Catholic Primary School endeavours to live out their school motto In Harmony.

An idea was put forward during a meeting of the school’s newly re-formed Parents & Friends Group last year, to hold an African Cultural Evening as the start of year community event for 2023, it was enthusiastically received. Planning commenced straight away, continuing during the holidays and early into the term.

The result was an evening with an abundance of activities, including a sampling of traditional foods prepared by our parents and students from different year groups singing songs and reciting poetry synonymous with Africa. An African drummer performed and conducted a drumming workshop, a fashion show featured the traditional dress of various countries, and hair braiding was available.

Members of the community were able to watch children perform a dance choreographed by one of the parents and the evening concluded with free dancing and many of those present joining together to perform the Jerusalema Dance.

Families, students and staff all donned traditional African dress for the evening, which enhanced the celebration of our many different African cultures.

Reflecting on the evening, Principal Martin Tucker said:

‘As our inaugural Cultural Evening, I cannot be happier with the way the staff, parents and students all worked together to celebrate our African Nations, the sense of heartfelt pride and gratitude expressed by our African families was overwhelming. In addition to the various activities, we were able to educate our children and families a little more about Africa and its people.’

When asked about how she felt about being involved in the African Cultural Night, Year 6 student Angelica said:

‘I feel more connected with my culture through being able to experience it at my school.

‘I enjoyed being involved in the dancing because it reflected our culture and was a way of expressing ourselves. Schools should be more involved in celebrating their different cultures.’

Based on the success of this community event, there are plans in place to celebrate the St John Paul II CPS community’s Asian nations in 2024.

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