St Albans schoolchildren celebrate diversity during Multicultural Story Telling Week

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Children celebrated the rich cultures of the world during a special international week at their school.

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Pupils from reception up to Year 6 at Garden Fields JMI School learned all about diversity in a Multicultural Story Telling Week from June 25 to 29.

They heard aboriginal stories, performed with shadow puppets, made masks, ate ‘wombat’ stew, and to end the week with a bang, got to enjoy numerous foreign cuisines at a Food Festival.

This was organised by four parents, Eliza Lau-Johnston, Carlee Herst Haywood, Mei Li and Julie Hill.

Volunteers were up at 5am to cook over 80 different dishes from Africa, Australasia, Asia and Europe.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant


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Delicacies on offer included crickets, mealworm, Cornish pasties, and Anzac biscuits.

Students also got to dress up in an outfit from their cultural heritage for the event.

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Eliza said: “For us the food festival is more then just the food, it’s about celebrating diversity, bringing people together who might not have normally known each other, educating the children by giving them a chance to taste food from other countries and create community spirit.

“We also loved seeing how proud parents from other cultures are about their food.”

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

She said food is not just survival, it is community, tradition, pleasure, identity and humanity.

Headteacher Andrew Farrugia said: “It brings all the communities together, we are trying to embrace a shared enjoyment of food, singing and dancing. School is about uniting us all and teaching mutual respect so I think this event really portrays that.”

The school organised a similar cultural week and food festival early last year, and hope to make it a regular occurrence.

In 2017 the event was held inside, but the heat wave meant this year children could enjoy the festivities on the school field.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Deputy head Michelle Cole added: “I think it’s really important to celebrate the really rich cultures in our community.

“We have a very diverse community, we have over 41 different languages spoken by the children in our school, so this week is a real chance to celebrate that.”

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography.

Garden Fields Food Festival. Picture: Stephanie Belton Photography. - Credit: Archant

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