At Mernda Primary School, students from Prep to Year Six participate in an Intercultural unit of work that encompasses the Intercultural Capability which is a part of the Victorian Curriculum. The students explore cultural diversity, acceptance of other cultures, investigate their own cultural identity and explore how they celebrate different traditions and cultural celebrations.
Students explore intercultural encounters through stories, videos, interactive experiences, activities/tasks, cultural dress, languages and the large variety of cultures within classrooms.
Each term students spend a week where they explicitly learn and complete a unit of work based around multiculturalism, cultural perspectives, linking the Chinese culture with Australia and celebrating cultures within different ways. Throughout the year the Intercultural Capability is often integrated with other Curriculum areas such as during Inquiry learning.
During Term Three, the intercultural units for each year level are linked to our LOTE Chinese program. In these units students explore and investigate the ways the Chinese culture is similar and different to our own cultures within the school.
Harmony Day is a national celebration to recognise diversity and multiculturalism within the wider Australian community.
Mernda Primary School is a wonderfully diverse community with families from over 30 ethnic groups making up our enrolment. We held our very first celebration of Harmony Day in 2019 where all 950 students from Prep to Six completed units and showcased a piece of work that was created based on the cultures and concepts explored.
Each Year level focused on a different unit of work that encompassed learning about music, dance, traditional dress, migrants, refugees, artwork etc. Students came on the day dressed in their cultural dress or the colour orange which is the official colour of Harmony Day and also celebrated to music from other cultures and some even experienced cooking a range of different foods.
At Mernda Primary all students from Prep to Six learn about the Ethical Capability which is a part of the Victorian Curriculum. Students across the school learn skills like problem solving, thinking logically, social skills and exploring right and wrong actions.
At Mernda Primary, the Ethical Capability is often taught alongside the Intercultural program or as a standalone unit. It is taught explicitly once a term however it is reflected on frequently throughout the term across all Curriculum Areas. Students explore and investigate different skills through role playing, team building games/activities, creating concrete materials and working together with their peers.