One for all: In the best public schools, diversity is essential – as these students testify

Philippa Lim, House Downe

Having lived in Singapore since I was born, going to an English boarding school on the other side of the world at the age of 13 was a big change in my life. Singapore is an incredibly multi-racial country and I was exposed to various cultures during my education, but one of my biggest fears was coming to school in the UK and feeling completely foreign.

I was, thankfully, pleasantly surprised at how curious my peers were to learn more about me and my cultural background, and I felt like a valued member of the community right from the start. start. Downe House is an incredibly diverse community that has given me great opportunities to broaden my knowledge of other cultures and upbringings, which I believe is crucial to enriching its social development. I was able to share my own experiences, such as Chinese traditions and celebrations, and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and learning more about their cultures.

One thing I particularly love is how Downe House celebrates global festivals in such an authentic way and encourages students and staff to share their experiences and traditions. As a community, we celebrated Freedom Day, Diwali, Maslenitsa, Eid and, importantly for me, Lunar New Year. Overall, I think diversity, inclusiveness and equality are key qualities that the Downe House community demonstrates.

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