We are all different in different ways.
At Varndean we know this, accept it and celebrate it: We are all different in different ways.
Sometimes difference within a community can cause confusion, discrimination and fear. At Varndean School we use our strongest tool: education, to help students and staff understand difference, so that we can foster an inclusive environment for all. Practically this manifests in studies of society, attitudes towards minority groups in history and examination of language, its development and usage today. We also strive to consider what needs to be put in place for each of our students to thrive in their learning.
We respond to students’ needs and wishes swiftly, this has resulted in themed assemblies around equality issues, specialised support groups and clubs and extra sessions in our Learning for Life lessons, sometimes led by students themselves. We regularly have outside specialists and support groups come into our school to work with staff and students when there is an area that we feel we need more specialised training in.
Sometimes outside influences can affect the attitudes of people within a community: society at large can affect how our students understand each other. As these types of changes happen we continue to put the learning first. For a child to learn they need to feel safe and accepted: hence why equality and inclusion is so important to our community.
Our Equalities Group meets regularly to monitor and co-ordinate Equalities work across the school. It is led by Vicky Thorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and its members include the Student Voice Coordinator, the Learning for Life Coordinator, students and other staff representatives.
The Equalities Group has identified five objectives:
- To have a consistent and coordinated approach to Equality issues.
- To reduce student incidents relating to Equality issues.
- To ensure that students have many opportunities to discuss sensitive and complex issues relating to Equality.
- To ensure that students have many opportunities to enjoy cultural and creative experiences that reflect and celebrate the UK’s increasing diversity.
- To ensure that all staff members are trained in all areas of Equalities issues.
The table below is taken from the latest RAISE Online report, which provides basic characteristics of the make-up of our cohort: