Visitors to Aberdeen’s most multi-cultural school could be greeted in any one of 19 languages when they walk through the door.
Hanover Street Primary School on Beach Boulevard serves 220 pupils, more than half of whom speak a language other than English at home.
Inspectors praised the school in an inspection report last year, saying children were “well placed to develop as global citizens.”
Head teacher Alan Markey, who took on the role on a permanent basis in November 2018 after a spell as acting head, praised his staff’s commitment.
He said: “The staff commitment to inclusion is huge, they are fully committed to ensuring that all children are included in the school community, regardless of their culture or where they’re from.
“Because of our cultural diversity, we think it is important that we value those in our community, celebrate that diversity, and all of the children in the school are aware of the different cultures and the diverse population in the school.
“All staff are on board with that.
“In addition, our partnership with the EAL (English as an Additional Language) unit at Sunnybank is very strong, and they ensure that children with English as an additional language are helped to settle into the school and begin to learn English.
“And individual teacher planning will consider each child’s need and ensure the curriculum is accessible for them.”
Parents have also been included in an effort to better integrate their children into the community, with initiatives such as family check-ins and translation of information into their home language.
Another change is that the school nativity is now non-religious, something Mr Markey felt better reflected the school today.
He feels the school’s diversity gives pupils a head-start before facing the real world.
“I think the children learn so much from being in classes with such diversity, and working every day with such a diverse range of people,” he said.
“The children might not know it now, but it’s something that will prepare them well for life after Hanover Street and for the wider world.
“You’re going to meet a more diverse range of people later in life – those children at Hanover Street have overcome that already, they’re ready.
“They’re respectful of people and their backgrounds.”
He added: “Of course there are challenges, but they’re not challenges you can’t overcome.”