Staff at Nowra High School were immersed in cultural activities to gain a deeper understanding of their diverse student population.
As part of their staff development day on Monday, Nowra High organised a series of cultural workshops run by community members.
Nowra High School principal Glen Kingsley said the aim of the day was to learn more about the cultures their students came from.
"We decided to have a focus on intercultural understanding as we have over 80 ethnic non-English speaking backgrounds and over 28 different language spoken groups in our school, and it's important we cater for our students individually," he said.
"One of the motivations is the Department of Education's strategic direction which says 'Every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools,".
"Part of that is gaining an understanding of their unique cultural background."
We have 62 different language groups and it's important we cater for our students individually.Nowra High principal Glen Kingsley
The day began with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony.
Staff were able to choose from a raft of sessions which included learning about traditional tea ceremonies, henna workshop, South American drumming, spit roasting lamb, mead making, Tibetan dancing, belly dancing, Aboriginal basket weaving and Aboriginal storytelling.
Nowra High School has one of the highest representation of refugee students on the South Coast.
It was part of the motivation for inviting the Tibetan community to run a workshop.
The workshop involved learning about traditional dancing and music usually accompanying Tibetan festivals and celebrations.
One of the sessions on offer was learning about teas from around the world, run by Mark Thirlwall who is an internationally certified World Tea Judge.
There are only three Australians who hold the qualification.
Another of the activities was run by Chilean Carmen G Mendoza, who migrated to Australia in the 1970s.
She introduced some of the staff to South American drumming and explained its use for healing in rite of passage ceremonies.
The day finished with a feast of cultural foods with community members and teachers sharing their cultural experiences.