South Shields school celebrates diversity with Mela

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A South Tyneside school with one of the most ethnically diverse range of pupils in the area has brought together the local community in an Asian festival of music, dance and culture.

Hadrian Primary School, in Baring Street, on the Lawe Top in South Shields, staged its annual Mela celebration last week.

The event involved an array of exciting activities, including market stalls, a giant inflatable assault course, live music and dance, henna hand painting and face painting, as well as side show stalls organised and created by Year 6 children.

And that wasn’t all.

Delicious Asian foods were available to sample and a large number of local community support groups such as Age Concern, Crest, the police and fire service were also present to provide advice to local people.

Live music was provided throughout the afternoon by a contemporary Bangladeshi band from Sunderland.

The event was organised by the school and two members of the local community, Abdul Muquith and Masum Chowdhury, and was supported by a range of local community groups, projects and businesses, including Education Network, South Tyneside Bangladeshi Youth Organisation and Ruskim food supplies, as well as a number of local restaurants and takeaways that supplied prizes for the raffle.

Phillipa Baxendale, lead teacher for English as an Additional Language, said: “The event was extremely well attended by all.

“Giving such opportunities to celebrate and share our unique cultures is a positive experience that the children, staff and families will remember and cherish.”

Headteacher Scott Brown said the event recognised the value of forging stronger links with the local community.

He added: “It was wonderful to see all of our pupils sharing in a celebration of Asian culture.

“In a school with such a high Bangladeshi population, it is important that our children gain a deeper understanding and insight into the cultures and faiths within all of our community.”