As part of our series of blogs looking at impact in Lyfta global education schools, we hear from Cradle Hill Community Primary School about how they have used Lyfta to bring diversity into the classroom.
Cradle Hill Community Primary School is a large school in the coastal town of Seaford, East Sussex, with over 500 pupils on roll. Class teacher, Sarah Eddie, identified that learning with Lyfta would be a powerful experience for children at the school. Sarah explained that there was not much ethnic or racial diversity in the pupil population at the school, and that global learning and empathy were a part of their school ethos - their motto being 'Together We Care, Together We Achieve'
Sarah first introduced the Lyfta Dinnertime 360 storyworld with her Year 5 pupils. She shared with us that:
"The children enjoyed exploring this world and were really inspired by the ability to be in a 360 degree video. This made the experience immersive for them."
Sarah then introduced her students to the Awra Amba storyworld with a plan to explore the themes and human stories contained within this world in a discussion. She explained:
"We had a great discussion about their journey towards independence. All seemed to understand the necessity of rejecting the aid and how things feel much better when we've earned them ourselves."
To enhance engagement and learning within the Ethiopian Awra Amba storyworld, and to build on learning that the school had previously been doing in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sarah explained that she also worked with maps of Africa to identify countries and from there was able to link discussions to the SDGs.
Just as Sarah had made plans to develop this work, the school went into lockdown as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. However, Sarah shared that she was able to develop home learning units in response and that they will develop a new partnership with a school in Nepal supported by the Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning programme.
One of the students in year 5 that did Lyfta lessons during lockdown explored LGBT+ issues through Lyfta's storyworld Pride. The student explained how she thinks that everyone is unique, everyone deserves a chance, and everyone can also have their own feelings and love whoever they want to love.
This inclusive understanding was emphasised further when she said "I find Lyfta very inspirational as I'm really interested in knowing more about other people's lives and how they overcome the obstacles they face. I love learning about different cultures, beliefs and how important it is to have diversity surrounding us. Lyfta is such a great tool and some of the best lessons during lockdown."
Since schools returned from lockdown, Sarah has led further lessons using the Pride storyworld set in Curacao, she has also explored microplastics and marine life with her pupils by visiting the Fish Tales storyworld in the USA, and has delivered a number of assemblies including one about challenging stereotypes which draws on the male ballerina in the Secrets of the Opera storyworld series.
Another student, also in year 5,expressed understanding of challenging stereotypes while reflecting on the male ballerina:
"He is different from other boys
He is strong and not afraid
He is not afraid of being the only boy there
He doesn't feel odd
He is a determined person to achieve his dreams."
Teaching inclusion and diversity have been a key part of Cradle Hill's use of Lyfta. Sarah describes how Lyfta has opened up the world to her pupils; providing them with real stories and invaluable immersive experiences which they can relate to. She explains, "I have found the immersion itself incredibly important when fostering an inclusive attitude and developing a welcoming society. As Michelle Obama once said: 'I've learned it's harder to hate up close'."