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Primary School Overview

Primary school children come from a variety of backgrounds and families. Celebrating and acknowledging different families is crucial to make all children feel welcome and enable them to learn how to value those who are different.

Children prosper academically and developmentally in classrooms where they feel welcome and safe.  Unfortunately, hurtful language is very commonplace in primary schools. Three quarters of primary school teachers report hearing the word "gay" being used as an insult or to mean that something is rubbish.

This sort of homophobic language can affect any students perceived as different – including boys who apply themselves academically, girls who ‘behave like boys’ and kids with gay parents.

Through Primary School Champions, Stonewall partners with primary schools to help them celebrate different families and address homophobic language in the classroom.

Why should my primary school join?

  • You will be prepared for your Ofsted inspections. Stonewall’s expertise in advising primary schools how to navigate their legal obligations is second to none. Ofsted’s new 2012 framework requires its inspectors to investigate what primary schools are doing to celebrate different families and to address homophobic bullying. At the same time, schools are required under the Equality Act to actively tackle homophobia and protect those who might experience it. Because Stonewall has worked with Ofsted and other government agencies to create these legal requirements, we are perfectly placed to help your school meet them.
  • You will help your pupils reach their potential. Pupils who hear homophobic language and abuse are more likely to struggle academically, become truant and suffer emotional and learning difficulties. By challenging such behaviour as it surfaces in a straightforward manner, you will give all your pupils the opportunity to reach their potential as healthy, driven and safe children.  What’s more, pupils who see their families and lives reflected in their learning are much more likely to feel included in school and as a result perform better.
  • You will empower your staff. All teachers want what is best for their students – and more often than not they’re aware of the problem that homophobic language presents to their classrooms. But many simply feel ill-equipped to deal sensitively and effectively with homophobic language. By making the most of Stonewall’s experience and expertise, you can empower your staff to tackle these issues with confidence.
  • You will create a happy, welcoming learning environment. All primary schools aspire to creating for their pupils a safe place where they feel welcomed and happy. By working with Stonewall, you can help to safeguard such a positive learning environment – by promoting a celebration of difference and empathy towards people from different family backgrounds.

Call our education team on 020 7593 1871 or email education@stonewall.org.uk if you have any questions at all.

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