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There is a national movement to integrate BME communities, refugee communities and white indigenous groups under the banner of Community Cohesion. We whole heartedly support this and believe that whilst sharing a learning experience, communities can come together and learn from one another.
All schools, whatever the mix of pupils they serve, are responsible for equipping their pupils to live and thrive alongside people from many different backgrounds. The balance and focus of experiences in the educational process need to address the promotion of community cohesion. Most schools will already be providing numerous learning experiences which contribute to community cohesion; Pioneers augment these experiences offering external expertise and guidance.
The interpersonal skills of meeting, working with and learning from others form another key element in schools' work towards cohesion. Pioneers help establish learning that links the awareness of diversity and these interpersonal skills to the fundamental values of respect, tolerance and cooperation.
Work to promote cohesion can take place beyond the classroom. Pioneers facilitate a wide range of opportunities, including 'out of hours' activities, open to everyone who can help students to feel that they belong, can encourage wider social mixing, develop shared values and can help to meet the Every Child Matters outcomes of 'enjoy and achieve' and 'make a positive contribution'.
Events and activities that draw different groups and ages together help promote an atmosphere of cohesion and cooperation and break down segregation between groups within the school. Major charity events, special days, assemblies and creative performances can all be organised in ways that encourage mixing between different groups and ages of pupils. All of these elements can come together to help form cohesion.
A concerted policy to bring counter-stereotyped role models to work with students has operated for many years in some schools, ensuring that learners realise,
through personal contact, that prevailing myths and prejudices about ethnicity, faith, disability, social class, gender and employment are false.
If you would like any further information about Community Cohesion or on specific projects then please contact us.