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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

QKA celebrates International Roma Day with trending Czech pop star

Czech pop idol Lucie Bikárová brought Roma culture to life at Queen Katherine Academy (QKA) during their vibrant Roma Day celebration in April.

The academy’s Roma Day brought together students, teachers, Trust staff, and community members in a spectacular event where beloved singer Lucie Bikárová performed her hit songs.

Organised in partnership with Peterborough-based Compas Charity, the event featured live music, inspiring workshops, creative activities, dancing, delicious food, and informative Roma exhibitions to enjoy, showcasing the rich culture and heritage of its community.

Philip Masterson, Principal at Queen Katharine Academy, said: “We were delighted to celebrate International Roma Day with our community. Events like these strengthen our cultural understanding and create a more inclusive environment for all our students.

“Lucie Bikárová’s performance was the icing on the cake to a spectacular evening. It was brilliant to see students and families from all backgrounds singing along and celebrating Roma culture together.”

The concert from Lucie Bikárová, who was in the top ten finalists in the Czech and Slovak versions of Pop Idol was the highlight of the evening, with students and families singing along to her most popular song, ‘Dza’ which has over two million views on YouTube.

The Roma celebration marked the proud result of a long-standing partnership between QKA and Compas Charity since 2018. For over a decade, the local charity has been working with the academy to support Roma pupils from Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania. This collaboration has included implementing the successful ROGA project and providing bespoke mentoring to Roma students and support to their parents.

Carolyn Mahan, International and Community Lead at Queen Katherine Academy said: “While some Roma students face initial challenges adjusting to a new culture and language, we have developed an impactful partnership with Compas Charity, that goes beyond the classroom walls. We’re here to bridge any cultural and communication gaps to ensure that family needs are met and understood, and teachers are aware of the context of each student’s upbringing.”

Around 10 to 15 per cent of QKA students are from the Roma community. Many of these students face initial challenges when adjusting to cultural differences and language barriers. The academy’s International Team has implemented a variety of opportunities and initiatives that promote awareness and understanding of Roma culture within the school community.

These efforts not only increase engagement in learning but also raise aspirations and self-belief among Roma students. They create chances for all students to learn about and appreciate Roma culture.

Carolyn added: “Our Roma Leaders empower our students by sharing their own experiences. Events like this one, alongside our diverse programmes on offer, help pupils to thrive academically and encourage a strong sense of belonging for all within our school community.”

For information about Queen Katharine Academy’s Roma scheme, please visit: