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  • Jenny Hammond Primary School

About the School

Jenny Hammond is an East London Primary School, which prizes inclusion, equality and diversity. Its student population has a higher than average proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals, from an ethnic minority group and who speak English as a second language. 

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

Jenny Hammond pictureJenny Hammond started its work through teacher training using Stonewall resources and the celebrating difference DVD as a springboard to introduce new staff to difference and diversity. Through this training, staff were encouraged to use gay and lesbian in their proper ways, thereby dispelling misconceptions in the classroom. 

Jenny Hammond's Stonewall point of contact worked with the school to organise a diversity week, coinciding with LGBT History Month, as well as to encourage teachers to use the Different Families resources and Stonewall's age-appropriate literature (such as And Tango Makes Three) to promote inclusion. 

Stonewall empowered Jenny Hammond to teach pupils about homophobic bullying in a wider context. One Ofsted report noted that pupils have an excellent understanding of different types of bullying, including homophobic bullying, such as name-calling and making others feel isolated.

What problems did Jenny Hammond encounter?

A few parents queried why the school was doing this work. Jenny Hammond was open and transparent, and used Stonewall's Different Families resources to show that this work was about love and diversity. They backed this up by referring to the Ofsted standards and the Equality Act requirements that necessitate doing such work. 

What was the biggest achievement since joining the programme? 

Jenny Hammond helped create a network of supporting schools throughout the local area, so that acceptance and celebrating difference will be on-going themes of their students' lives. The school did this by making use of Stonewall's education networks, benefiting from events such as the Education Conference and seminars. Jenny Hammond also worked with feeder Secondary School Champions, making sure that young people would be supported if they grow up gay. 

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  • Holbrook Primary School

About the School

Holbrook is a 240-student school in Wiltshire, with a higher-than-average proportion of pupils with disabilities and/or special education needs. Holbrook believes firmly in acceptance, respect and honesty. 

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

Tackling the misuse of the word gay was very important, as it was having a negative effect on children with gay people in their families. With the help of its Stonewall contact, Holbrook developed a log, through which children were encouraged to complain if they were called gay. This benefitted the school, as children now report incidences of homophobic bullying and expect them to be dealt with, leading to a reduction in homophobic bullying.

What problems did Holbrook encounter? 

Whilst the use of insults based on homophobic language decreased, the words remained loaded. This became clear when a Year 6 boy talking about his uncle in the classroom mentioned that he was gay. You can't say that!was the immediate response of several of his peers. An unintended consequence of Holbrook's work was to suggest that the word gay should never be used. The school worked on training with Stonewall further and now teachers not only explain why using gay as an insult is wrong, but also what the word means in its correct context. 

How is the school progressing from here? 

For Holbrook, it is important to place this anti-bullying work in a wider framework, identifying curriculum links, using Stonewall resources in lessons and using opportunities such as LGBT History Month and Pride to discuss diversity in a positive light. This should help pupils understand diversity and different families, reducing stigma further and making sure pupils grow up in a society where gay people are not invisible. 

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  • St Keyna Primary School

About the School

St Keyna is a primary school near Bristol that prides itself on welcoming everyone into its school community. Serving an area of high deprivation, St Keyna's student body has a higher-than-average representation of children with special educational needs and of pupils on free school meals.

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

Anti-bullying messages and the importance of respecting difference have been woven into the curriculum using books such as And Tango Makes Three and special assemblies dedicated to the theme It's okay to be different. Spurred on by class discussions of being gay, children across the school have contributed to a stunning mural which is now proudly displayed in the school hall. Brightly coloured drawings are accompanied by the children’s own words including: it's okay to be gay and it's okay to be yourself. At the same time, whole school training using Stonewall's resources has been delivered to all staff.

What problems did St Keyna encounter?

Some supervisory staff were anxious about parents and carerss' reactions to challenging the inappropriate use of the word gay. They were assured that the school leadership, including governors, would back them completely in challenging homophobia. Previously anxious staff expressed a sense of empowerment when encouraged to use the phrase in this school we value and respect our differences.

What was the biggest achievement since joining the programme?

Encouraged by becoming Stonewall School Champions, the children of St Keyna were awarded a £600 grant from Bath and North East Somerset Council for their contribution to the Good Ideas Grant to Stop Bullying. The subsequent Anti-Bullying Day was a huge success with the children working hard to put their exciting initiatives into action. Children-led activities included a poster competition, kindness awards, design and production of 'Be a buddy not a bully' wristbands, bookmarks and key rings.
Kate Murphy, Chair of the Bath and North East Somerset Anti-Bullying Strategy Group commented: 'I have been very impressed with all the pupil-led anti-bullying activities at St Keyna. Pupils, staff, governors and parents are working hard together to make their school an even safer, healthier and happier place and are leading the way in terms of equalities and inclusive practice.'


How is St Keyna progressing from here?

Staff and pupils at St Keyna have made a determined, long term commitment to tackle homophobic bullying and celebrate difference.  Children, staff and governors have established an 'E (Equality) Team' to ensure that these positive messages of equality and inclusion are continued for future generations of children at St Keyna. They are planning various schemes including playground buddies, making short films and sharing their positive messages with the wider community.

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