How a puppet called Monty helps promote inclusion in one school Monty is a new pupil at Claremont Primary School in Manchester’s Moss Side district. The fact that Monty is a puppet doesn’t bother the other pupils, who think of him as one of them!
Many of them have recently arrived in the UK. Monty is used by Ailsa Luty, the assistant head, as a way of putting pupils at ease when they make mistakes in speaking English.
Monty, rather than the pupils, can get things wrong. He is black like most of them and his name has no cultural associations. Initially intended for use with EAL pupils, Monty is now used throughout the school.
Monty is not the only approach to inclusion the school uses. It has an enrichment policy designed to promote inclusion at all levels.
There are pupil translators and peer mediators as well as Gaadhitaan (Somalian for ‘achievement’) sessions for parents and children, run by Mohamoud Affi, a bilingual instructor. In these sessions, parents learn how to help with homework and children learn about their culture.