Five years ago, a terrorist incident tested the strength of one primary school’s diverse community. Dr David Dixon discusses how his school’s focus on cohesion helped them to withstand the events of 2013 and remain united...

It seems incredible, that May 22 saw the fifth anniversary of the horrific terrorist murder of Gunner Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London. I was the headteacher of the primary school that was literally on top of the incident. Although I didn’t share my thoughts on the effects of the incident and its aftermath on the school and surrounding community at the time, I feel it pertinent to do so now.

This is partly because the incident is still a live issue in the locality, but mainly because there is a very positive story to tell about community cohesion and resilience.

Within this I wish to highlight the fantastic work done by schools, often in very challenging circumstances to nurture their children and families in many ways. These include providing a broad and balanced curriculum, having sufficient knowledge and understanding of local cultures and, most important of all, having empathy with individuals and groups.

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