School Diversity Week
The week beginning Monday, 21 June has certainly been a busy one at Ivybridge Community College with bake sales, knitting displays and enrichment activities, for example P.E. inclusion games like seated volleyball and blind football.
There has also been a more thoughtful side to our delivery of the message of Equality. Within Tutor time and forensic reading, students from Years 7 to10 have participated in discussing themes on gender, identity, disability and race.
Equally, each subject specialism has prepared carefully crafted lessons in order to develop students’ language and perception on ideas. For example, in Modern Foreign Language lessons the students have looked at what language has to do with diversity? In their Geography lessons, students have located different groups of people and seen how people identify differently around the world, and in Religious Studies, students have looked at inspirational figures from different religions that fought for social change.
In Music, students took part in a variety of activities to celebrate and raise profile the of Diversity week, ranging from learning the West African percussive dance ‘Juba’, to playing examples of orchestral and pop music. We highlighted the phenomenal music by black female composer Florence B. Price, Rock N Roll artist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and artists from the LGBT community, such as David Bowie, Freddy Mercury and Elton John. The focus was to challenge stereotyping and raise awareness about use of appropriate language. Students’ responses have been fantastic, mature and sensitive, with a vast majority expressing an interest in having such discussions more regularly. It has been a wonderful week to reflect and learn! In response to a podcast about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one Year 10 student said “You don’t always realise how many challenges people have had to overcome. It makes you grateful that they paved the way for those who followed afterwards.”. We look forward to highlighting Diversity even more in our music lessons as we move forward.
“I have been absolutely delighted to join schools and colleges across the U.K. in championing Diversity here at Ivybridge Community College. Although the week has been created with the main aim of empowering students from all areas of life, this also focused on LGBT+ Equality within the College. Overall, I believe the work staff and students alike have done, in order to celebrate and discuss the themes of Diversity, truly empower the future of our understanding of the world.” Rachel Long Equality and Diversity Lead.
Knitting for Wellbeing
Students and staff ‘got knitting’ in celebration and support of School Diversity Week for the LGBT+ community, and also for race, equality, ability and everyone’s own unique style of being diverse.
Knitting can be used as a tool to help with various emotions, and people often find that it inspires and calms them when they knit. Lexi, in Year 10 came up with the idea of a Knitting Club as she wanted to share this skill with others. Together with Ellie, also in Year 10 and Archie in Year 9, they led this project by helping staff and students get involved, with the finished results being proudly displayed at the College.
Kelly Atkins, PACE keyworker said, “The students and staff created a great atmosphere in this group and as a result we will be continuing this as a club from now on. Thank you to all that helped bring this together and thank you to Margaret Punchard from True Designs in Ivybridge for her expertise and support.”
Thanks to the Norse staff in the College Dining Hall for their wonderful Rainbow Cakes!