The promotion of equality, diversity and British values is at the heart of the setting’s work.’
‘Practitioners provide an exceptional range of resources and activities that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences. They actively challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping and help children gain an understanding of people, families and communities beyond their immediate experience.’
Outstanding descriptors, Early Years Inspection Handbook, Ofsted (2018)
The fourth Fundamental British Value is mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. It is important to accurately reflect our culturally diverse society:
- So that all children learn about the society in which they live
- To foster respect for other cultures
- To ensure that children from minority ethnic groups relate to their environment and activities and take pride in their ethnicity.
Awareness of cultural diversity needs to be at an age appropriate level for Early Years children so that it is fun, positive and meaningful.
Reflecting Cultural Diversity in the EYFS
- Ensure that your resources, books and displays accurately reflect our culturally diverse society. Children will ‘absorb’ the message that our society is made up of people of different colours and ways of life.
- Raise awareness of different cultures through what you are already doing with the children. An interest in weddings could include resources and activities about Asian weddings. A look at different types of homes could include models and pictures of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller homes. A theme of pets could include stories about care for animals from different cultures.
- Mark some of the religious and cultural festivals in a simple and practical way, e.g. stories, craft activities and cooking. Choose festivals that are celebrated by your children or that relate to what you already do, e.g. find out about the Jewish Harvest festival of Sukkot (which involves building dens) when you are celebrating Harvest. This will make it more meaningful to the children.
- Reflect and value the different languages of your setting or school by creating a personalised ‘Welcome Display’ of your languages. Both parents and children can contribute to this.
- Be creative with your role play area. It could be a bakery with bread from around the world. It could be a home at Diwali, Christmas or Chinese New Year, with all the traditional decorations. It could be a campfire on a Traveller site, following a story about Traveller children.
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