Thursday, 31 May 2012


I'm attending an Open Day at Krishna-Avanti Primary School, Spencefield Lane, Evington this morning. The school is coming toward the end of its first teaching year. They're celebrating that milestone today, along with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend (for which reason, the event begins and ends with the singing of the National Anthem and Headmaster Christopher Spall is sporting a vivid Union Flag bow-tie).

There are demonstrations of devotional dancing, of yoga and of Maypole Dancing, and recitation in unison of verses from the Bhagavad Gita (in the original Sanskrit, then the English translation). One way or another, these activities allow all the school's pupils and teaching staff to do something in front of the gathering.

Mr Spall calls Cllr Manjula Sood to the microphone to speak. As well as currently being Assistant Mayor and Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths, Manjula was the first Asian woman to be Lord Mayor of an English city and - of more interest and relevance today - the first Asian primary school teacher in Leicester.

Other members of Leicester Council of Faiths are in attendance: Cllr Rashmikant Joshi, Suleman Nagdi and Tony Nelson. Cllr Vi Dempster, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Lead for Children, Young People and Schools is also here today.

I have a brief chat with Fiona Dryden, who is here covering the event for the Leicester Mercury. I point out to her that there a number of members of Leicester Council of Faiths at this event and that we've helped provide occasional visiting speakers to meet pupils and staff. I give Fiona my card: we'll have to wait and see if any of this finds its way into the paper. 

By the time Pradip Gajjar, the school's Director, is offering his thanks and closing remarks, we have the first serious rain for several days. Time to move inside the marquees for a nice vegetarian lunch.

This is a very friendly, happy occasion and shows off the Krishna Avanti School in a very positive light. I'm glad that we're able to show our support for the school today and we wish staff and pupils the very best as the school progresses.

1 comment:

  1. This blog post was included in Global Diversity Collaborative (“Voices of Inclusion in a Diverse World”), a published by Sherry Snipes, Sat 2 June edition: