On Friday 12th June, Kingfield Primary School hosted a Gypsy Roma Traveller day where the children were given the opportunity to learn all about Traveller culture and traditions.
The day was planned in recognition of Gypsy Roma Traveller Month, which takes place in June each year. As Kingsfield has a number of traveller children, it seemed fitting for the non-traveller children to become educated in the traditions and culture of travellers. In preparation for the day some of the traveller children worked with staff in the school to make sure that the day was tailored to them and what they would like the rest of the school to know about them.
Children throughout the school took part in various activities. Reception made their own Stone Soup out on an open fire, a first for many of them. Some of the years paid homage to the tradition of elaborately decorating Vardos (trailers) by pattern making and designing vardos of their own. Further up in the school, the older children took part in den making, story writing and researching various celebrated travellers such as Elvis and Pablo Picasso.
The children at Kingsfield Primary School were treated to a day of storytelling from Peter Young (Creds). Each year took part in a session throughout the day where they learned about traveller’s culture and traditions through song and story.
Lucy Pritchard (11) said: I really enjoyed the story telling this afternoon. The stories were funny, but they had meaning too.
The students were given a dedicated assembly about travellers previously in the week where they learnt about how damaging stereotyping can be and how important being an inclusive school is. This day marks the start of a month of activities recognising traveller traditions and the staff involved will be working closely with traveller children in the school to make sure that their specific traditions are being represented.
The day was a great success and a fantastic learning opportunity for all.
Headteacher, Mrs Tomlins said: The children have had a fantastic day today learning about the travelling culture. It has been a hugely positive experience for our children who come from travelling backgrounds and they have shared their knowledge and experiences with the other children with pride. Our traveller children have also been integral in planning the day to ensure their friends learned what they felt was important to them as a ‘community within a community’.