This year at Hughesdale Primary School we have introduced a new specialist subject, with the interim name ‘Cultural Studies’, which complements our Mandarin programme. Levels One to Six will take part in 6 months of Cultural Studies and 6 months of Mandarin, while Foundation students will participate in the whole year of Mandarin in order to form the essential building blocks in learning another language.
Content is guided by the Victorian Curriculum Intercultural Capability as we enable students to demonstrate an awareness of and respect for cultural diversity within the community; reflect on how intercultural experiences influence attitudes, values and beliefs; and recognise the importance of acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity for a cohesive community. This strongly links with the Hughesdale Primary vision to empower our learners to confidently seek to contribute to our evolving global community with integrity, sensitivity and joy.
Students in Levels Four to Six have commenced Cultural Studies with excitement and are enjoying the notion of re-naming the subject themselves as they increasingly become familiar with the content; some great ideas have already risen from them. We are learning about many different cultural celebrations/festivals exploring aspects such as food, activities, religions and the associated countries. This gives students the opportunity to share their own cultural backgrounds and experiences while also learning about their peers’. Some of the focus celebrations/festivals includes Chinese New Year, Pesach, Eid al-Fitr, Cinco de Mayo, Dussehra, Ohi Day, Diwali and Hanukkah; this list was derived from the students and their own experiences.
We will also focus on Harmony Week which will include a whole school day based around inclusiveness and accepting diversity; terms that are commonly used in our Cultural Studies classes.