Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that every member of our Borlase community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. We strive to ensure that every person in our community is given a fair and equal opportunity to develop their full potential regardless of their gender, ethnicity, cultural and religious background, sexuality, disability or special educational needs and ability. Our Borlase community works actively to promote equality, foster positive attitudes and is committed to an education for equality. Our Equalities Objectives are reviewed annually: our 2022-23 objectives can be viewed here, and in the policies section of the website.
Our response to 'Everyone's Invited' and subsequent planning to ensure the longevity of our approach can be viewed here
We have over 45 student led societies, including LGBTQ+, Equalities Diversity and Inclusion and FemSoc, the largest society in school with over 150 members.
The societies meet weekly to discuss such issues as misogynistic language, pronoun usage and decolonising the curriculum. Outcomes of the work of the societies includes the rewriting of the student planners to ensure that the uniform requirements are gender-neutral and the names of the Head Boy and Head Girl changed to School Captains.
Our Student Voice Committee meets twice a half term and EDI and wellbeing is at the forefront of 'The Borlase Character' aspect of the projects they are currently designing and taking forward. This group interleaves with our 'Agents for Change' ambassadors in leading change and initiatives throughout the school.
Tutor Time and Assemblies
Assemblies are used to communicate and to educate students about Black History, LGBTQ+ history, International Women's Day and many more. These themes are then reinforced through tutor time activities and opportunities for students to discuss issues that affect them. Often assemblies are written and delivered by students, and they contribute to the content of tutor time resources. Our tutor programme is robust and specifically designed to interleave with the PSHE curriculum. Explicit schemes of learning are included in tutor time such as Oracy, British Values, Resilience and Diversity, Equalities and Inclusion.
The Sixth Form at Borlase is a vibrant, open and welcoming community. As part of their sixth form experience Year 12 (and 13 are also invited) are given a weekly hour-long lecture.
The lecture series is designed to include equalities, diversity and inclusion. We have had speakers such as Kally Kersey speaking on 'Diversity in the workplace', 'Show racism the red card' and Chris Hemmings on 'Masculinities'. Our year 13 students also performed their devised Drama piece on sexual assault to year 12, an incredible powerful and moving experience.
Upcoming lectures include a talk from the 'Windrush Society' to complement a cross-curricular Dance and Literacy/History project with Year 12 and 7s titled 'Voices of Windrush'
EDI in the curriculum
As part of our PSHE programme (delivered by PSHE specialist teachers) we cover and go beyond the statutory guidance for teaching gender, sex, discrimination and diversity. Students are explicitly taught about the use of language. In years 7 and 8 students study Philosophy and Ethics in which they are taught about world cultures, beliefs and religions. This is continued in year 9 Philosophy classes in which students are able to choose ethical projects, many of which focus on equalities and inclusion. In years 10 and 11 EDI is delivered through assemblies, tutor time and PSHE and also student societies. Year 12 EDI is delivered through our lecture series and from September 2022 Year 13 will have an hour a week dedicated to Personal Development Curriculum which will also include EDI work.
Enrichment days off timetable also encompass EDI. Year 9 visit places of worship and year 6 to 7 transition activities are focussed on equalities and friendship. Specialist RSE days for years 8, 10 and 12 address issues of gender and identity, consent and sexual harassment.
Public speaking competitions are held every year across the school and students regularly speak on topics such as; 'What is modern slavery?' and 'Why sexual assault is a man's issue'
Within the taught curriculum students study a wide range of topics including Cultural Poetry in English, Othello, Women in Society, the Holocaust in History, women in STEM, decolonisation in Geography, equalities and diversity through Dance projects and many more.
Agents for Change
Launching in June 2022 is our initiative 'Agents for Change' in collaboration with 'Equaliteach'. We will elect ambassadors from each year group for training in how to lead on EDI throughout the school and drive forward our approach of encouraging students to 'Call it out. Call it in.' if they hear or see any form of discrimination in or out of school.
This is an exciting project that will embed and ensure longevity and will rightly place EDI at the forefront of our school community.
Working with our staff, partners and parents
Staff have regular CPD training on safeguarding and discrimination. This year we have also partnered with 'Equaliteach' who have delivered staff workshops on discrimination, unconscious bias and the laws surrounding discrimination. Staff training around PDC issues is also replicated at parent and student level. Handouts from our parent 'Equaliteach' workshop can be viewed here and here
We run monthly workshops for parents around issues of Diversity, RSE and Safeguarding. The current 2022 programme can be viewed here.