Focusing on diversity, equality and justice
Inspired by Mary Ward our school vision is:
By God's grace, women in time will do much (Mary Ward 1585-1645). Commitment to DEIJ sits at our very core.
During this academic year our plan The Place to be Me has touched every aspect of our culture: governance, student voice and representation, co-curricular provision, staff development, alumnae and parent relations.
Examples of new initiatives this year include:
- Appointment of a specific student voice and inclusion governors.
- Development of student voice structure to include committees that reflect and develop the inclusive culture of our school. The committees are Wellbeing, Eco, International, Inclusivity, Charity and Service, Digital and Learning. Each are supported by community scholars who have applied for the role and visibly model student inclusion to the community. Student led initiatives arising from these committees include:
- Ongoing Eco plan including a whale tail sculptured from used plastic, a reworked bin for unrecyclable materials, a local litter pick and a whole school Sustainability Day
- Specific inclusion initiatives such as the adoption of the Halo Code and the introduction of acoustic baffles for the dining room to dampen noise in support of our neurodiverse students
- Introduction of student led talks based on a TED talk model
- Student led assemblies and events marking International Women's Day, Black History Month and LGBTQ history month
- A schoolwide focus on oracy so that all students, whatever barriers that they face, can find their voice
- Development of a Peace Studies course for Year 8 students enabling them to reflect on peace within themselves, within their communities and more widely
- Development of a Peace Studies online course for Year 12 students in conjunction with Fatima Jinnah University, Pakistan
- Becoming one of the first schools to adopt the Diversity, Rights and Equality in the UK topic as part of the IGCSE history curriculum and developing our own teaching materials to support this
- Full review of KS3 English curriculum with a focus on inclusion
- Full review of the whole school PSHEE curriculum with a focus on inclusion
- Development of an outdoor learning initiative with the specific aim of including students who learn differently
- Full review of house points including the development of HEART (Hard Work, Empathy, Adaptability, Responsibility and Thoughtfulness) habits as the basis of rewards. An approach focused on valuing process rather than outcome therefore with inclusion at its centre.
- Revitalisation of houses including a student competition to design logos with the express intention of bringing our community together. The Majestic Birds theme selected seeks to cover a range of values
- CPD focus on SEND including training on autism in girls and dyslexia from outside speakers, but also powerfully training for staff from our neurodiverse students themselves addressing autism, ADHD, OCD and dyslexia and suggesting ways in which lessons can be more inclusive.
Next year, we look forward to developing our strategy by expanding our HEART habits to sit within a burgeoning Global Studies curriculum focusing on core strands of sustainability, peace and leadership.
Kate Latham, Assistant Head: Enrichment and Partnerships
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