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Chancellor's School address equality, equity and diversity across school community Posted on: 16/06/2021

Chancellor's School address equality, equity and diversity across school community

As schools went into the first COVID lockdown and before the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, very few members of Chancellor's School would have been able to articulate an accurate definition of such words as micro-aggression, unconscious bias and cisgender. What a difference a year makes! Over the course of the last year, Chancellor’s has undertaken something of a mini-revolution in how it addresses equality, equity and diversity (EED) across our entire school community. They have taken a forthright and forensic approach to promoting equality, ensuring equity and celebrating diversity. Crucially much of the work has been led by students. Firstly, Sixth Formers who initially challenged the school to explore micro-aggressions within the local community and more recently, the whole-school staff and student working parties, who are collaborating to raise awareness across a number of different platforms, such as race, gender, sexuality and disability. Already this year they have successfully promoted a ‘cultural calendar’, celebrating different aspects of school diversity through form period activities, weekly lock screens, library reading recommendations and presentations, newsletter and bulletin articles and physical displays. Black History Month in October and LGBT+ History month in February served as an opportunity to improve the community’s race and gender literacy, while whole school surveys helped them to understand the day-to-day challenges that different members of the school community face in relation to race. A highlight of the programme was a thought-provoking whole staff INSET on micro-aggressions and diversity awareness. Their next phase of work is building on these strong foundations to establish a robust and resilient EED legacy across the school. The students have created an ‘EED Charter’, thier expectations of a rights respecting community to be observed by anyone belonging to or joining the school. Furthermore, they are challenging subject leads, as they reflect on their curriculum planning, to identify where they can fully embed Creators, Perspectives, Content and Visuals in their schemes of learning. On a pastoral level, Chancellor's School are looking into further tackling period poverty and providing extra channels of communication to capture the school experience of all students and as they welcome the construction of a new Maths and PE block, they are requisitioning a vacated space for a reflection and wellbeing room for all students. They continue, wherever possible, to engage with local diversity organisations and are creating a monthly vlog to record the ongoing work they are doing. They are very excited that this work has caught the attention of a local MP, and look forward to welcoming him into school when the opportunity arises to share the substantial work. This is a never-ending programme, that can and should always be enriched and enhanced, but, with a fantastically committed team of students and staff on board, CHancellor's School community can be confident they are already beginning to make a tangible and sustainable difference.
OSA Y8 Students Graduate from the Brilliant Club Posted on: 16/06/2021

OSA Y8 Students Graduate from the Brilliant Club

Twelve year 8 students at Onslow St Audrey’s School in Hatfield have celebrated their virtual graduation following a university-style tutorial programme with a PHD tutor from King’s College, London. Organised by the education charity ‘The Brilliant Club’, the students took part in ‘The Scholars Programme’ where they took on the challenge of becoming ‘Disease Detectives’ and completing a series of virtual lectures with their tutor. To graduate, the students then had to independently research and complete a 1500-word university-style assignment, which were submitted and marked by the university tutor. The programme was a resounding success, with half of the students achieving the highest grade of a first, and the other half achieving a 2.1 qualification. Due to the lockdown rules, students took part in a virtual graduation-style celebration event alongside schools from up and down the UK, receiving certificates to mark their fantastic achievement and to congratulate them on completing the course. Every student gained an insight into what university style learning looks like, taking part in confidence-building discussions with university staff and students and why they might want to apply in the future. Completing the programme was no mean feat, especially since the students had to complete the sessions during the spring term on top of their lockdown learning timetable at school. Mr. Finn, who was running the programme, said, “I am delighted that they have completed this at such a difficult time. The amount of resilience they have shown to keep up with the workload and the degree of challenge was inspiring. It has been a pleasure to work with them and I have been lucky to be a part of the process”. Each student studied with their PHD researcher on the topic of contagious diseases, logging into virtual sessions and completing homework alongside their research from home. At the end of the course, they were given a deadline upon which they had to submit their assignments on how to tackle an outbreak of Malaria in Mali, Africa. Year 8 student, Daniel Tual said, “The programme was challenging and fun and it was great to have the chance to learn about something that we wouldn’t normally do at school. I feel that getting this university grade puts me one step ahead, and if I choose university in the future, I am prepared for it”.

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