Pupils reach ‘Beyond Skin’ to celebrate diversity

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PUPILS from Glengormley Integrated Primary pupils and St Bernard’s Primary celebrated diversity with a visit from cultural organisation Beyond Skin as part of the CAN PEACE III funded support from Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The charity organisation uses music, arts and various other media to assist in the building and development of cultural relations in Northern Ireland, with the overall aim of addressing issues of racism and sectarianism.

Beyond Skin, with over 10 year’s history of experience and learning, has found the most effective way of engaging people in a cultural or good relations project is through generating an experience were each participant plays a part and are valued as part of the process.

The seven-piece band performed and entertained children from P1 to P7 in a musical workshop extravaganza, bringing together race and rhythm in a contextual way that amused, educated and informed the children about the messages and importance of diversity.

The band played traditional songs like “La Bamba” but also played renditions of significant songs like Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” which were supported at times by up to 25 infants at a time shaking tambourines and beating the life out of traditional drums.

Glengormley Integrated PS principal Nigel Arnold, said the message brought by the group “dovetailed beautifully with the Integrated ethos of the school”.

“As Glengormley continues to celebrate its international school status, the opportunity that Newtownabbey Borough Council afforded us was difficult to turn down. This helps us to strengthen the value we place on the multicultural facet of our integrated education in Glengormley.

“Everyone had a great morning and the whole event was deemed a great success.

“The school would like to offer big vote of thanks to Beyond Skin and Newtownabbey Borough Council for setting up such a great experience for all the school community to enjoy,” 
said Mr Arnold.


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