Cultural Collaboration at Whole School Diversity Council
Our Junior and Senior School students were overflowing with ideas at our whole school Diversity Council meeting last week!
With representatives from Year 5 up to Year 12 the council looked at the results of the recent GDST Undivided Survey, particularly around celebrating different cultures. We discussed the challenge of getting students to recognise that as a school we are listening to what pupils say (feedback through the Diversity Reps, via members of staff, through the use of suggestion boxes and PSHCEE lessons) and are taking action as a result. Our four Junior School Councillors agreed to get input from their classes and bring their ideas to the next meeting.
The Council looked at what they had achieved since the last meeting:
The Junior School had an assembly to raise the profile of the Diversity Council (including introducing themselves, how to get in touch with them and the suggestion box idea outside Ms Bevan’s office). The junior councillors are also setting up a Google website on diversity and inclusion at the Junior School and have also held a Neurodiversity Assembly where the councillors suggested the inclusion of current role models from the music world.
In the Senior School we held a Diversity logo competition amongst students and which is now on the Student and Staff Noticeboards. Year 10’s Ishani also presented in assembly about different faiths and food with symbolic foods being served in line with the relevant festivals at lunchtime, while last term saw the very first Diversity Atrium Concert. Mrs Irwin also spoke about a pastoral survey carried out at Senior School showing a positive increase in students feeling we have an inclusive approach, and said that Diversity and Inclusion is now a standing item at the School Council and has continued to be part of Inset training for staff. On the academic front, all departments’ subject content and texts have been audited and Diversity Reps Ash and Venus attended a Heads of Department meeting with reflections and feedback on the content.
Looking forward, the Junior School councillors were very keen to collaborate further with their Senior School colleagues, especially for music concerts and performances. Year 7 will be holding a Multicultural Fair for charity before half term, while July will see Cultural Celebration Week which will include the return of Hillfest, where the entire school put their diverse and creative talents on display in a whole afternoon celebrating our community.
Other areas explored were the diversity of food at school, workshops held by senior students to help the juniors, more events that show the diverse cultures within our school, getting parents involved in events involving different cultures and faiths. All students were very keen to hold another Cultural Dress Up Day, following its success last summer, with one Junior councillor exclaiming, “dress-up day was the best day ever! We all loved wearing clothes from our own cultures to school!”
One final idea was for each student to make a flag for bunting for Hillfest that would represent their culture, so that everyone contributed a little part to it.
A big thank you to all our councillors and Mrs Irwin and Mrs Pitt for a great meeting. We look forward to seeing some of the students’ fantastic ideas in action later this term!