Berala & Grays Pt Public Schools

Berala and Grays Point Public Schools explore Australian diversity.

Students from Berala and Grays Point Public Schools have been involved in cultural exchange programs for some time. This year, the two schools with very different student populations have come together to create their own unique cultural exchange program.

On 25th August 2008, students from Grays Point travelled by bus to Berala Public School to meet and participate in a day of activities designed to explore and celebrate cultural diversity. Before the visit, students had written to each other and shared information about themselves, their likes and their different school and family experiences. Berala students had also previously visited Grays Point Public School, where together students from the two schools went to the Royal National Park; experienced aspects of Aboriginal culture; and learnt about local animal life.

On arrival at Berala, students from Grays Point were welcomed with performances which included a Haka and a drum performance by Berala students. Then, students from each of the schools finally met the buddies they had been writing to in the early stages of the program.

The much anticipated meeting which began in the Berala school hall was filled with excitement as students took the opportunity to ask each other many questions. Some Grays Point students were amazed by the size of the Berala student population which at over 1000 was almost four times the size of that of Grays Point. After a tour of Berala Public School, the students (and teachers) shared morning tea and then participated in a range of activities which included singing, lantern making, story telling, origami and Chinese language lessons.

The Berala/Grays Point cultural exchange program involved students in Years 3 and 4. Its focus was on exploring the diversity of Australia and Australian identities and on the common values that we all share.

Berala Public School is located in south western Sydney. Students come from a wide range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with the largest group being Chinese speakers. In contrast, students from Grays Point Public School, located in southern Sydney, come from mainly English speaking backgrounds.