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Check out this great video Claverham Community College - one of our wonderful School Champions - made to celebrate IDAHO on 17 May!

 

  • Chew Valley School 

About the School

Chew Valley is a performing arts school with a sixth form. The school serves a rural area and challenges its pupils to develop a view of life beyond the valley. The school believes firmly in equality and aims to explore diversity with their pupils.

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

A role-model visit from Lance Corporal James Wharton set the tone for a brilliant first year of the School Champions Programme for Chew Valley. Stereotypes were challenged and pupils were laughing about how ridiculous their assumptions had been. 

keep calm and don't be homophobicPolicy was changed and publicised, so now pupils know that if they are bullied they will receive support, and incidents will be taken seriously. This push was supported by the school’s Youth Involvement Group, which organised an anti-bullying event in October focusing on verbal bullying and careless language. 

Chew Valley has weaved the themes of diversity, gay equality and homophobic language in the curriculum. There is now a focus on gay equality in the GCSE RE course and PSHE. Other subjects feel willing and confident to include references to gay themes in their lessons.

Imminent whole staff training should bolster awareness raising further, for which they hope to focus on curriculum involvement. 

How have Stonewall resources helped Chew Valley? 

Stonewall’s resources have aided Chew Valley’s work. Guides and training DVDs were used to explain to staff the importance of anti-homophobia work. In one lesson, a boy used the School Report as a basis for an English speaking assignment. Best practice has contributed to the ‘Doodle for Diversity’ and ‘Break down the Wall’ campaigns at the school, which push for respectful language and celebrate diversity. 

chew valley drawingStonewall’s feature film FIT and the associated lesson plans have changed perceptions. One pupil said after seeing it, ‘Really you just shouldn’t make assumptions about people. People are people, black, white, gay, straight, it shouldn’t matter.’ 

What was the biggest achievement since joining? 

Pupils are challenging peers over homophobic language, pupils come back lunchtime after lunchtime to watch instalments of FIT and the Youth Involvement Group acts as a driving force, developing confidence and resilience. In short, young people are leading change and pushing for equality. 


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  • Walthamstow School for Girls 

About the School

Walthamstow School for Girls is an outstanding comprehensive school situated in East London, serving a very diverse community. The school is committed to equality, and has a 100-year-old motto of: “Neglect not the Gift that is in Thee”.

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

The programme has helped Walthamstow to build on an existing commitment to lesbian and gay equality by identifying areas for improvement. As a result, Walthamstow now stocks a range of books with lesbian and gay themes in their library and LGBT History Month celebrations are now curriculum-wide with all subject areas delivering lessons with an LGBT theme. Being able to draw on Stonewall resources such as the ‘Spell it Out’ guide, ‘The School Report’ and ‘FIT’ DVD has helped the school provide factual information to staff, around which they can then develop lessons. 

With campaigns such as “Think Before You Speak” and extensive staff training on diversity (specifically lesbian, gay and bisexual issues) now embedded in school policies, the whole school has the confidence and tools not only to challenge homophobia but to celebrate diversity 

How have role models benefitted the school?

walthamstow aon pictureStonewall also put Walthamstow in touch with a representative from a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Aon. The representative has so far delivered an assembly, visited the school for International Women’s Day celebrations and delivered a talk to the Student Equal Opportunities Group. The girls in the Equal Opportunities Group gained real value from engaging with such a successful businesswoman, and Walthamstow looks forward to further links with the Aon LGBT group in the future. 

What is the best part of being a School Champion?

Being a School Champion has enabled Walthamstow to become even better at celebrating difference, to share good practice and to help make the school even more inclusive. Having the recognition of Stonewall gives Walthamstow a way of publically demonstrating their commitment to diversity.  


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  • Rossett School 

About the School

Rossett School is an Academy in Harrogate rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in 2010, with 1500 pupils. Rossett provides education for all, enriched by diversity.

How has the School Champions Programme benefitted the school?

Rossett’s initial needs assessment highlighted a need for school policy specifically referencing homophobia. Now the school’s leadership has set performance measures which are consistent with the school’s mission statement and equality policy. Staff are now confident in tackling homophobia thanks to whole-school training delivered to all staff. 

A role model visit galvanised pupils, with actor Sir Ian McKellen delivering an assembly which will stay with pupils for many years. This gave pupils the confidence to come out without fear of reproach, and some went further and signed up to Stonewall’s Youth Volunteering Programme.

Stonewall guidance resources have aided policy development, and Rossett has gone on to share this best practice with local schools. This work led one Ofsted inspector to say they 'had never seen any other school tackle homophobic bullying in such an open and positive way'.

What are the top priorities for Rossett School? 

Rossett is developing peer-led workshops, and acquiring gay-themed literature, in order to celebrate difference outside the classroom too. They will also be using Stonewall resources and lesson plans to reference being gay through the curriculum and, with the help of their Stonewall point of contact, identify cross-curricular themes.

What was the biggest achievement since joining the programme? 

Rossett has had a number of achievements that have gone beyond tackling bullying – such as developing a diversity day, appointing ambassadors and establishing an LGBT lunchtime club. 

 

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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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