Caister youngsters promote voices of the world in colourful displays

HUNDREDS of youngsters were taken beyond Norfolk’s borders at a festival aimed at promoting good relations between people from a range of global backgrounds.

Caister Infant School hosted the event on Friday which saw children showcase all they had learned in the classroom to family and friends, helped along by good weather - a marquee put up in case of rain doing an unexpected turn as a sun shade.

Singing and dancing from around the world replaced the usual timetable, giving youngsters a chance to get away from their desks and enjoy the more relaxed rhythm of a day out.

Many had dressed in colourful costumes to get into the spirit of the day, with around 400 children involved in performances and 600 taking part over all.

Alaine Mukene of Norfolk Education and Action for Development (NEAD) which works around global issues focusing on areas like Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn where the population is changing and become more diverse, said: “It was glorious. The parents seemed so pleased to see the performances and were clicking away with cameras.”

She stressed although Government funded NEAD used activities like dancing, craft and music to engage children it aimed to tackle wider topics like migration, global interdependence and poverty reduction.

Each of the nine schools in the cluster taking part had chosen a country to work on looking at geography and music among other things.

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At Ormesby First School Year 2 children learned about Bali, and performed a dance at the festival helped by Lestari James a local lady who hails from Indonesia and is one of the “voices” helping to spread the word about culture and diversity.

School head Lucy Bates said it was important that village children who perhaps weren’t exposed to different cultures, understood they lived in a diverse UK. “It was lovely to see other schools and there was a lovely atmosphere. The children really enjoyed going and have enjoyed working on our related topic in school. For us it is going to be a long-term effort.”

Other school’s taking part included Rollesby Primary, Winterton Primary, Martham Primary, Caister Junior and Flegg High whose pupils reported on their exchange trip to Kenya. Other world voices taking part were Judith Omasete who told Rollesby pupils about Kenya and Rajab Juma Mohamed who fired the enthusiasm of youngsters at Ormesby Junior over Tanzania, inspiring colourful posters, brochures and models.