Our academy is a melting pot of cultures and personalities. Teachers and students hail from every corner of the globe. We have an EAL (English as an Additional Language) population of over 40%, all with different levels of proficiency in English: from no English to fluent in English and other languages.
Click HERE to see lots of news stories about how we celebrate diversity at HAP.
On any day at HAP you encounter people speaking Jamaican, Pashtu, Arabic or Yoruba, aside from the very prominent Spanish. At HAP we are about diversity. Regardless of where you are from, whether teacher or student, you can thrive and be successful. The ethos which undergirds what we do is captured by the acronym LEAP: Leadership, Enquiry, Aspiration and Perseverance. Day after day we LEAP towards our goals.
Throughout each academic year we celebrate LEAP Day which see students being exposed to knowledge outside the curriculum. In so doing we ensure we are creating global citizens.
LEAP Day celebrates diversity
For the first LEAP Day our theme was Celebrating Diversity. There was a buzz around the academy from the moment it was announced. Staff and students were challenged to wear attire that represented their culture. Each department’s offering saw diversity being interwoven into what students were learning. Different year groups were assigned to a department for the entire day. The last period was used for a fashion show involving students and teachers.
Humanities department hosted Year 8 students who focused on multiculturalism in the UK and the impact of migration on football. During the third period they organised an interclass football tournament which was a hit with all the students.
The English department had Year 9 students doing a writing piece on diversity followed by an oral presentation. In Science, students were allowed to be Crime Scene Investigators as they investigated the “murder of a teacher.” Using various analytical techniques, they evaluated the evidence from each suspect and determined who was the murderer.
The final event for all year groups was a fashion show held in the academy hall. Expectation and anticipation had been building all day while the rehearsals were taking place. PE, Drama and Music departments organised the fashion show with students from all year groups taking part.
South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe were all represented. Students and staff proudly paraded on stage in cultural attire, waving their flags to rhythms of their local music. The show was interspersed with dances from different cultures which revved up the excitement in the hall. At the end of the production no one moved from their seats. It is as though the students wanted more.
The students enjoyed every performance and greeted each with a rousing applause. Many remarked that this was “one of the best days ever”. This sentiment was also echoed by staff. It did not go unnoticed that some teachers got custom-made costumes for the day. Who could not manage full regalia had a flag of their native country. The feedback from staff was overwhelmingly in favour of having this as a recurring event on the school’s calendar.
“At the start of the term, I quoted Maya Angelou and spoke to all the students in assembly about the importance of Peckham's diversity, beauty and inner strength," said Claudette Bergin, Principal. "I also spoke to Year 6 prospective parents about our diverse multicultural Academy and..... there it all was - true to life and so brilliant!”