As we come to the end of our Pride in Diversity Month, we wanted to say how proud we are of our wonderfully diverse communities. Every one of you brings something unique to our academies, and we’re delighted to have you as part of them.
We also wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we have covered over the past month. Across each week, we had a common theme - an idea of celebrating what makes each of us different and working to understand those who are different from us.
We want to keep working to make sure each of our academies provides a truly inclusive environment for everyone. In addition, we want to continue highlighting the struggles that different communities have faced whilst also celebrating their successes and achievements.
The diversity of our communities is a real strength of the Trust and our family of academies, and it is one we make no excuses for proudly promoting and celebrating.
We have big plans for the future, with every intention for Pride in Diversity to be a cornerstone of the Trust’s values and ethos. We don’t want our discussion on diversity to be just a series of topics we only focus on for one week a year. The broader purpose behind our work is to inspire people to reconsider how they see the world around them. We must instil a sense of appreciation towards other people’s differences whilst developing an understanding that others can have thoughts, views and feelings different from our own.
Celebrating Pride in Diversity Month across the Trust
There have been some fantastic things taken place at our academies. It has been great to see so many of our young people participate in the different events to celebrate the diversity we have across the Trust. Some of our favourite activities were:
- The Pride in Difference Competition, where we tasked our young people with producing something creative to win an Amazon voucher or a polaroid style camera;
- Display Boards were created by some students that highlighted key features for the weekly themes, showing their understanding and compassion;
- Tutor Times were used to show presentations to students and to engage them in discussions about the weekly themes;
- Choirs at several of our academies recorded videos of them singing a version of True Colours.
While it was great to see the spirit of celebration thriving across our academies, our incredible community went further, with voluntary donations on the non-uniform days where everyone wore bright and colourful clothing. These donations will be split equally between four charities, representing the four themes of Pride in Diversity Month.
Each year Lifeworks supports 200 children, young people and adults with learning disabilities to have great lives. They provide residential and short break social care services, specialist further education, and community projects with their young people leading the way.
Runnymede is the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank. They challenge race inequality in Britain through research, leading debate, and policy engagement. Runnymede is working towards a country in which all citizens and communities feel valued, enjoy equal opportunities, lead fulfilling lives, and share a common sense of belonging.
akt supports LGTBQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are struggling with their home environment. The charity helps young people find safe homes, and supports them into employment, education or training, in a welcoming and open environment that celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.
Mermaids has been supporting transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995. It is one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities and helps thousands of people with events, resources, communities and helpline services.
Support across our academies
Although celebrating our community’s incredible diversity is hugely important, we also wanted to highlight the support we provide to our young people and staff.
Each of our articles highlights the specific support we can provide. The most important thing is for anyone to speak up if they’re struggling or require any support.
We have boosted our pastoral support across the Trust to ensure that every young person has someone they can talk to at any point. From support groups to pastoral teams, every young person can speak to someone who understands their needs.
We’re also there for our staff. Our academies provide a range of wellbeing resources. Staff should also feel comfortable speaking with our pastoral teams or their line manager.
Of course, we understand that sometimes the support we offer within our academies may not be what is needed. That’s why we want to use this opportunity to signpost the range of support outside of school – you can find full details of those below:
Taking our pride in diversity forward
We know that we could never cover the myriad of different ways in which we define ourselves in just four weeks, and we were never trying to do so. We aimed to raise awareness of the various diversities of the people around us. Yet, more than that, we wanted to encourage every member of our community to open their minds.
It is not always easy to change the way we think. Challenging our perceptions of people, whether that’s how they identify, recognising their disability, or understanding their culture and background, can be difficult. Change is a journey, and it’s one where we will all make mistakes along the way. What matters most is that we learn from and understand those mistakes, listen to people who have different lived experiences, and change how we communicate in the future.
The topics we have discussed over the past month can be contentious, and they can go against how some people see the world. That doesn’t mean we should avoid these topics, merely that we should always be respectful and open in how we approach them. Through talking to each other, through educating about different lifestyles and different lives lived, that is how we grow as individuals and as a community. For all of us across the Landau Forte Charitable Trust, that is our goal and our mission.