Fostering Cultural Literacy to Inspire a Better World

Fostering Cultural Literacy to Inspire a Better World
Diversity international cultural

In an increasingly interconnected world where diversity is not just appreciated but celebrated, cultural literacy stands as an essential skill that will help students develop understanding, empathy and unity. At Alice Smith, we recognise the pivotal role of cultural literacy in shaping well-rounded individuals who are equipped to thrive in our global society.

But what exactly is cultural literacy? In essence, it encompasses the knowledge and understanding of different cultures, including their customs, traditions, languages, and histories. However, it does go beyond simple awareness and helps foster deeper appreciation and respect for the rich tapestry of human experiences that make up our world.

In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, cultural literacy is more important than ever before. It enables students to navigate diverse social and professional environments with sensitivity and empathy. By understanding and respecting cultural differences, students can build bridges across divides, foster meaningful connections, and collaborate effectively on a global scale.

At Alice Smith, we are committed to nurturing cultural literacy through innovative and immersive experiences. One such initiative involves collaboration between the Languages and Music departments at our Primary Campus, where whole year groups come together to participate in cultural projects and performances. These cultural assemblies serve as vibrant celebrations of diversity, showcasing the richness of different Malaysian festivals.

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Through these collaborative efforts, students not only learn about different cultures but also actively engage in cultural expression through music, dance, and language. This unique approach not only deepens their understanding but also fosters a sense of belonging and inclusivity. 

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Back in Term 1, Year 4 students were involved in the Deepavali Celebration Assembly, and in Term 2, Year 3 students proudly participated in the Lunar New Year Celebration Assembly. Last week, Year 6 students also took part in a wonderful Hari Raya performance that provided them with an opportunity to showcase their understanding and appreciation of Malaysian traditions.

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The Languages department at our Primary Campus has also helped cultivate cultural literacy from an early age, through carefully crafted cultural lessons tailored to each year group, from Preschool to Year 6. At different points of the year, those cultural lessons have allowed our students to embark on a journey of discovery exploring the history and culture of our host country, Malaysia.

Wonderful cultural celebrations have also taken place at our Secondary Campus this year. The Lunar New Year assembly showcased a guzheng musical performance and a sword dance in addition to a presentation on the Year of the Dragon, all prepared and presented by our students.Screenshot 2024-04-25 at 4.18.51 PM

The Mandarin department at our Secondary Campus have explored the ‘Legend of Nian’ with Year 7 students. They examined why and how people celebrate Chinese New Year, with groups acting out the story. Year 10 students also completed Chinese calligraphy couplets to decorate both sides of their door at home.

The cultural heritage of our host country was also celebrated in a Hari Raya assembly where Secondary students presented information about Hari Raya Aidilfitri through a fabulous Wayang Kulit performance.

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This year’s International Day celebration at the Secondary Campus was also a true highlight of Term 2. This included a cultural bazaar organised and planned by students, as well as an international food fair supported by our PTA. For more details on this, please click here.

At Alice Smith, by prioritising cultural literacy, we equip our students with the tools they need to become compassionate global citizens who are capable of embracing diversity, challenging stereotypes, and championing positive change.

Through collaborative projects, immersive experiences and engaging lessons, we empower our students to navigate the complexities of our global society with confidence, compassion, and courage. Together, we celebrate diversity, cultivate understanding, and inspire a better world for all.

Article written by:

Joanna Asse Drouet (Head of the Languages Department - Primary Campus)
Emily Graham (Head of Humanities - Whole School Leadership Associate)