At Springvale Rise, understanding and celebrating cultural diversity has helped to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
Springvale Rise Primary School is a dual campus school which is located in South-Eastern Victoria. Over two campuses, approximately 83% of students and their families have origins outside of Australia and a Language Background other than English. To add to the multicultural profile of the school, 27% of students are also from a refugee-type background.
Acting Principal Jodie Pyman, is proud of the strong partnerships that have been developed within the school and the wider community.
These partnerships aim to provide an inclusive and respectful learning environment that supports, inspires and challenges students and their families to achieve their personal best. By collaborating with a variety of partnering organisations, Springvale Rise Primary School ensures a suite of programs, which are customised to the needs of the local community, are offered throughout the year.
Welcoming parents into the school community
At Springvale Rise Primary School, staff work to welcome each and every family into the school every day, by focusing on the core school values - Collaboration, Excellence, Resilience and Respect to celebrate the diverse needs of the surrounding community.
The school provides a variety of educational opportunities and adult education programs that not only develop social connections but also empower parents/carers to take an active role in their children’s education. Through this process we create a sense of trust and belonging which is at the heart of everything we do.
The school achieves this through days like the Foundation Family Fun Day and the vibrant and engaging Harmony Day Parade which is held every year during Cultural Diversity Week.
A committee of teachers, Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs) and our Community Hub Leaders organise this event with active parent participation to provide a variety of opportunities for families to connect with their children during this special event. This year, parents, siblings, aunties, uncles, grandparents and other family members have been invited to attend and are encouraged to wear their traditional dress and join the parade with the children.
Traditional recipes have been suggested during a parent forum and cooking activities are being shared in classrooms to highlight the importance of valuing different cultural traditions.
For more information, see:
Multicultural education aides
Community partnerships connect the school to success
Springvale Rise Primary School is extremely fortunate to be supported by Community Hubs Australia which is a not-for-profit organisation that provides assistance to newly arrived families.
Leading the way, Community Hub Leaders Melanie Mumford and Jess Tang work collaboratively with playgroup facilitators, MEAs, volunteers and local services to provide a range of programs which are tailored to the strengths and needs of the local community.
‘Services within the community are often very keen to work with schools, recognising that they are a safe place for families. I would recommend that schools and their leadership teams seek out services in the community to support families’ said Melanie who has seen the benefits that the hub can offer first hand.
In addition to developing our children’s literacy skills, the Springvale Learning and Activities Centre provides funding for English and computer classes for our families. Through a supportive environment, parents/carers learn skills through a collaborative and interactive approach and are encouraged to apply what they have learnt within the school and the wider community.
Celebrating diversity of our staff
During Refugee Week, Springvale Rise Primary School has another authentic opportunity to celebrate the diverse needs of the community and staff, some of who are refugees themselves. As part of celebrations in 2017, staff members Jumabi and Sim shared their personal narratives about how they migrated to Australia.
‘I was looking for a peaceful country. When I first came here people were friendly and we were given support from the Government,’ said Sim.
‘It was very hard coming to Australia on the boat from Burma. I now have a good life and the future is good for my family,’ said Jumabi.
These personal narratives were moving and by sharing these experiences with other staff members, Springvale Rise Primary was able to reinforce the importance of the Community Hub and the services which are provided to our culturally diverse families.
Celebrate your school's diversity
This week is Cultural Diversity Week, a weeklong celebration held throughout Victoria every year, which includes Harmony Day. This year's theme is 'Proud to Belong' and features an exciting program of festivals and events across the state.
As one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with nearly half of Australians born overseas or with at least one overseas-born parent, a multicultural Australia is an integral part of our national identity.
To learn more about Cultural Diversity Week, see:
Cultural Diversity Week
For more information about Harmony Day, see:
There are many opportunities for students to learn about cultural diversity throughout the year. See: