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Anti Jubilee Parents


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This morning I have had a discussion with a parent who wished to inform me that her child was, under no circumstances, to access any activities where she might be exposed to union jack flag waving or national anthem singing. It was against her religion to participate in national ceremonies or to promote national pride. I explained that we would be doing all of those things as we were expected to deliver a curriculum which explored the wider world and our joining in with jubilee celebrations was no different to exploring brazilian carnivals, tasting greek food or listening ot french music ( all which her child joined in with) and that it was important for her daughter to have an awareness of her cultural background but that her child would not be 'forced' to participate. I don't think the parent was best pleased with my response and said that she would be keeping her child away next week so that she would not be involved in our celebrations, at the end of the day her choice but my question is could I (and should I ) have said something different. As a footnote I would like to add that this is a parent for whom we cancelled the nativity because her (and several others) religious beliefs and the logistics of excluding these children made it impossible to organise.

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Hello Max , I think you said exactly the correct things , its part of what the children are seeing at the moment all around them so its a relevant link to their own experiences. You didnt at any time suggest she kept the child away she made that descision on her own so has no reflection on you or the setting. You acknowledge people are entitled to their beliefs but they also need to be aware that holding and feeling the need to enforce their own beliefs can make life difficult for their children. When the children get a bit older I expect they will have their own views about these things and may challenge their parents in their own time . I think you said it very well - you dont have a policy that says something about multi cultural / ethnic diversity celebrations you could have at your finger tips just incase she comes back !!!!!

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I'm with you too. Love 'em or hate 'em she's our Queen and because of her we're the envy of many other nations. I dont mind raising a glass or seven to her over the next few days.

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Maybe ask her what she believes as it sounds as if she is very anti most things! but it may help you to celebrate something she believes in at a later date with all the children so she can see that you do respect ALL cultures

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Maybe ask her what she believes as it sounds as if she is very anti most things! but it may help you to celebrate something she believes in at a later date with all the children so she can see that you do respect ALL cultures

 

Its to do with the family being Jehovah witnesses, not an aspect of this religion i was familiar with until today. They believe that the only government they should follow is that of Gods kingdom and that singing the national anthem and waving flags is seen as a form of worship and therefore against their beliefs.

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Think my problem was that it caught me unawares this morning, I was prepared not to include these children in christmas, easter, birthdays, mothers day etc and we managed to convince mum that yoga was not full of religious intent, but the problem with nationalism was not on my radar and I was maybe a little officious with the parent as I couldn't believe that celebrating the Queens reign was a religious problem. Live and learn eh?

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Yep, just read it on wikipedia, they dont salute national flags. If wiki is right (!) it seem's a strange way to live, but, each to his own. I'll still be drinking to her Oneship :1b

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Oops, we have children whose parents are Jehovah's Witnesses and I didn't know that. We generally talk to the parents about what we are planning at Christmas and Easter and find out what they want their child to be involved in that we are doing, with a little modification but we never stop doing anything because of their beliefs. The child didn't come to our nativity and we did our best to practice when the child was not there, or we occupied the child with another activity or a special job. Mum was aware that the music would be playing in the background. Similarly at birthdays we might occupy the child setting the snack table while the other children sing happy birthday. But this doesn't stop children singing happy birthday to each other during role play, and the child joining in, but that happened naturally. I think Mum sees that we are making an effort to work with her even though as you say we all feel children should develop an awareness of different cultures and beliefs. My feelings towards religion and the jubilee are ambivalent but boy do we need a jolly good excuse for a party!

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We are having a little party and will be making decorations for it. One of my deputies did have a little rant to me about it (unnecessarily as I'd agreed we would celebrate it) along the lines of: 'I think we should celebrate and learn about the queen - that's our culture - we always do Diwali and other festivals like that, don't we?'. I'm Indian and would say I'm pretty assimilated into British life, having been born in England, but I did find that a little defensive and it made me quite uncomfortable. I am more than happy to have a party and in fact we are a Christian setting and say a prayer before snack. I don't however, think of union jacks and the queen as 'my culture'.

 

Just thought I'd share that with you!

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The world is here for all of us, we are all part of it, exploring diversity within it should be an essential part of what we do within EY and embedded in all we do. This could also include celebrations. Obviously respecting other beliefs and cultures can I believe only help with this for all. Its how we deliver it that is so important. Referring to your settings ethos and policies which our parents sign up to when they join us can help alleviate some of the issues raised here.

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The issue here really is not what our culture is but what the culture of the children is surely? ....we dont celebrate diwali at pre-school because i have no children who are Hindu, i do however celebrate Eid because it is in the religious background of the children who attend my setting. We all live in England and so are therefore under the influence of the Queen, is it not correct that we should be celebrating her rule? culture and religion often get mixed up. No one at pre-school would know what my religion was but they do know that i live in England ! Our job is to teach tolerance and inclusivity what is concerning about max 321's post is that this parent is not teaching her children that.

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And the culture of each child may be different - in our setting there are many different cultural backgrounds.

 

It's interesting you say you don't celebrate certain festivals as you have no children who do - we still celebrate them, just as we learn some simple words in other languages even if we don't have children who speak them. I suppose we will always have children at some point who speak these languages and celebrate these festivals as it's a very multi cultural setting.

We do Makaton with all the children even if none have sen/speech and language delay.

 

Interesting to hear what others do.

 

Many people in England are not in favour of the monarchy at all either, but I'm straying into politics which is probably best left for twitter!

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perfect answer as there probably was a lot more you could have said :)

 

what narrow minded views these people have, despite my religious beliefs, i would want my children to explore all avenues and walks of life

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And the culture of each child may be different - in our setting there are many different cultural backgrounds.

 

It's interesting you say you don't celebrate certain festivals as you have no children who do - we still celebrate them, just as we learn some simple words in other languages even if we don't have children who speak them. I suppose we will always have children at some point who speak these languages and celebrate these festivals as it's a very multi cultural setting.

We do Makaton with all the children even if none have sen/speech and language delay.

 

Interesting to hear what others do.

 

Many people in England are not in favour of the monarchy at all either, but I'm straying into politics which is probably best left for twitter!

I have thought long and hard about this over the last few years Anju and i now try to relate the curriculum to the children we have, in order that they are building on their experiences. That way it becomes personaised to them. We currently have children from 8 different countries and several different religions, as well as every households different cultures, by the time we have celebrated all those there really isn't time to do any others!! But if i were going to choose other religions to celebrate how would i do that fairly....why for instance would i choose to celebrate Diwali and not Purim or Wesak and not Christmas? How do you decide which festivals to celebrate?

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That's exactly why we moved away from the tokenistic approach many moons ago. We actually explore the countries of the world throughout the year and all that it encompasses. So we may look at foods, buildings, animals/habitats, climates, clothing, music, customs etc. I do feel it is important whatever children you have at your setting and where ever you may live in the world have an awareness of others and cherish the similarities and any differences we have. This helps children in their life long learning and in tolerance and respect for eachother.

 

 

 

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Have you considered giving the parent the documentation for her to apply for exemption from any part of the learning and development arrangements on the grounds of religious differences? Then she can make it official - if you agree to the exemption, that is!!

 

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/q/qcda%20guidance%20for%20exemptions%20for%20individual%20child.pdf

Edited by catma
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I think the culture of our 4 nations is varied, whether or not they are represented in our localities. Yes the children have their culture but those children will grow up and maybe go to study, live or work in another area where diwali for example is celebrated, so shouldn't they know about all the ways culture is celebrated in our world, whether or not it's their way of doing things?

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I think the culture of our 4 nations is varied, whether or not they are represented in our localities. Yes the children have their culture but those children will grow up and maybe go to study, live or work in another area where diwali for example is celebrated, so shouldn't they know about all the ways culture is celebrated in our world, whether or not it's their way of doing things?

 

How can we hope to cover any and every culture that the child 'might' encounter later in life... surely then is the best time to learn about it, indeed isn't that part of the reason we travel. I feel that we should learn about our own culture and others as lead by the children. for instance foods that children might eat from other countries or holidays or books that they enjoy might lead into activities around other cultures.

 

I tend to shy away from the token celebrations such as Diwali unless I have an introduction from a child in some way. I do strongly promote tolerance though

 

Just my tupp'ny worth. ;)

Edited by Guest
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For sure - the EYFS is not the end of a child's education and clearly they will learn about things as they go through Primary etc, but the culture we live in is multi cultural and isn't education about experiencing things we might otherwise not? For myself, I had many artefacts from other countries when I was little, as my dad was in the Merchant Navy and brought us back things from other countries. Because of that I was aware of other places and cultures, despite the fact that e.g I'd no chance of meeting a maori!

 

I don't see learning about something just because noone near me does it as being tokenistic really - there's many things we enable children to experience which wouldn't come into their everyday experiences (dinosaurs for example!!). I just think our job is to open their minds to new ways of thinking and being.

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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Catma I agree with you, but I prefer to let the learning stem from the child. Rather than dropping Diwali in out of nowhere I'd rather follow a story that a child has expressed an interest in (Handa's surprise, Lima's Red Hot Chilli) or follow a child's experiences.

 

We all have our own preferences and as long as we are broadening our children's minds I think it's all good.

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I think some really interesting points have been made in this thread. A difficulty I would have is that in terms of religious culture (I know that 'culture' is more than just religion) only once in a blue moon do we get anyone through our doors who has anything other than a Christian or non-religious background. Very occasionally we've had children whose parents have taken them to nearby Diwali celebrations but that's it. If I didn't drop some things in then they wouldn't experience it at all. I like the idea of following a story that they've expressed an interest in though and will think about how I could do this.

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It might even be a television programme that they've seen and talked about, or a holiday or a place where a friend has gone on holiday...

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It might even be a television programme that they've seen and talked about, or a holiday or a place where a friend has gone on holiday...

 

One of my boys has just come back from Eejit! xD (Eygpt)

 

Oh and this is where 'Show and Tell' (which I know some people loathe) can be really useful :1b

Edited by sunnyday
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