As educators, we constantly strive to provide our students with engaging and enriching experiences that go beyond the textbooks and we understand the importance of promoting inclusivity, empathy, and cultural diversity in our classrooms.
That is why we were delighted to see the impact of the live lessons delivered by our sponsor Lyfta in celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity.
On Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 May 2023, 304 classes from schools across the UK and beyond (some 9,000 students) - including some here in the South West - participated in the latest Lyfta live lesson. Students had opportunity to explore Lyfta storyworld, Keep London Smiling, where they met Sylvain, a Transport for London station officer who moved to London from Côte d'Ivoire via France. Sylvain has made it his mission to bring smiles to the faces of commuters who pass through his station to create a sense of community. Through small acts of kindness and conversations, Sylvain is able to make others feel happy and more connected.
During the live lesson, students delved into themes linked to British values, with a particular focus on mutual respect and understanding and celebrated the rich diversity of British society, whilst reflecting on the significance of experiencing different people and places.
Lyfta’s in-house teacher Noel started the lessons with some discussion about London, the backdrop of the Keep London Smiling storyworld. Did you know that London is home to around 10 million people, with an astounding 250+ different languages spoken? This fascinating glimpse into London's diversity set the stage for students to share their knowledge of the city and its special places. Students were asked what they knew about the city and its landmarks - some of their responses are shown below:
Through immersive 360° scenes, students were then transported to Sylvain's world, witnessing the heart-warming impact he has on the commuters passing through his station and watched the documentary "Sweet," which explores Sylvain's story.
This inspiring film sparked profound reflections amongst the students, who highlighted the universal power of kindness and compassion:
“A smile costs nothing and it speaks every language”
“His level of kindness is something we could all replicate”
“No matter where you are you can be kind”
What made these lessons even more impactful, given the theme of diversity in the UK, was the participation of students from across the country and beyond. We heard from students from schools in Cardiff, Portsmouth, Canterbury, Newcastle, and Bletchley Park - as well as from Murcia in Spain.
It was wonderful how students shared insights about their local communities, unique landmarks, and the diverse cultures that make their communities special. We heard about La Manga beach in Murcia, the historic dockyard in Portsmouth, the Haribo factory in Pontefract and the sense of community in Doncaster.
Lyfta live lessons have been delivered to a total of 1,500 classes in the last 12 months (some 45,000 student sessions). These live lessons, delivered Lyfta’s resident teacher via Zoom, bring together schools from different regions for a shared Lyfta experience. No preparation is required, teachers can just sign up and join via a link on the day.
There are more Lyfta Live lessons in the coming weeks.
Sign up below to be notified for the next dates.
Lyfta are also exhibiting at the SWIFT Summer Conference on Thursday 15 June 2023.
So, if you are attending, be sure to speak with the team there!
Report by Penny Othen, Director of Marketing at Lyfta