Ramsgate Arts Primary week of celebration and lantern parade

Drumming session at RAPS

Children are exploring and embracing diversity through the arts in a special week of celebration and learning at Ramsgate Arts Primary.

The project comes to a big finish when pupils take part in the community-led Lights Festival lantern parade that runs from Newington Centre on Friday (October 20) from 6pm on a short route to RAPS grounds in Newington Road.

The big procession will feature culturally diverse artists, including a New Orleans style band, a Samba group, stilt walkers, African djembe drummers, a brass band and Indian Dhol drummers.

This week pupils are exploring the many and varied themes around diversity by researching artists, musicians, and sports stars from diverse backgrounds with a link to Britain with each class creating a piece of art based on their research.

They include England and Manchester United soccer star Marcus Rashford, ground-breaking rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, poet Benjamin Zeppeniah, and artists Sonia Boyce and Christopher Ofti, the first black winner of the acclaimed Turner Prize.

Teacher Joshua Cialis is co-ordinating the RAPS programme. He said: “The theme of diversity is important as it allows us to understand and celebrate other people’s beliefs and culture.

“As well as exploring diversity in their lessons, the children are attending workshops hosted by facilitators from around the world that offer a broad flavour of culture and heritage.”

These include working with artists from Cohesion Plus to learn African songs and djembe drumming alongside Bhangra percussion, while the Dem Collective team are hosting a collage club and a zine workshop.

The children are also working hard creating lanterns to illuminate the big parade, with guidance from the crew from Future Foundry, a social enterprise to bring young people together within their communities – creating connections and highlighting pathways to success.

Head of School Nick Budge said: “It is so important for children and adults to learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony. One of our school values is ‘diversity’, and what better way to celebrate this than through exploring it through our arts curriculum and a full week of expressive and creative learning.”

The Lights Festival is a collaboration with Starling Support, Future Foundry, Ramsgate Arts Primary School, and Newington Community Primary which is also celebrating diversity and the arts in school and whose children are taking part in the procession.

*The parade assembles at Newington Community Centre at 5pm and the procession starts at 6pm with a rolling road closure via Melbourne Avenue and Bush Avenue. It finishes at Ramsgate Arts Primary School in Newington Road at about 6.40pm with a short firework display at 7pm.