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Thursday, 03 Mar 2016

Learning about diversity in schools

Harmony Day, which focuses on Australia’s cultural diversity, is on Monday 21 March. It is about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

Schools play an important role in recognising the richness of cultures, religion, sexuality and gender within their community and in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes in young people need to build a stronger and positive community. Undertaking a whole of school approach, which supports diversity, provides a safe and supportive environment where students can thrive socially, emotionally and academically.

The mandatory K–10 PDHPE syllabus contributes significantly to the formation of student understanding and values related to the acceptance of, and respect for, difference and diversity. It identifies principles necessary for a quality of life that each individual, regardless of group membership, can expect to enjoy.

In K-6 PDHPE, students explore:

  • Personal/social/school/community/cultural values
  • Respecting different values through individual rights and responsibilities
  • Building positive relationships
  • Recognizing and accepting differences
  • Identifying forms of discrimination, challenging discrimination and harassment
  • Cultural influences on a sense of self, nutrition, physical activity and a young person’s decisions.

In Years 7-10 PDHPE, students explore:

  • The relationship between culture and the formation of their own identity and the identity of others
  • Appreciating diversity in relationships
  • Valuing difference and diversity
  • Recognizing and challenging inequities
  • The use of inclusive and exclusive language
  • Skills that enhance resilience, eg problem solving
  • Strengthening diversity through empathy and understanding, respect and trust, and building inclusion.

Working in partnership with parents and the community to build and strengthen respect and understanding for cultural diversity enhances a sense of belonging for all members of the school community.

For more information relating to Harmony Day and diversity issues, visit the following websites:

For more information, contact:
Karen Ingram 
Inspector, PDHPE
(02) 9367 8150