Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The School promotes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Across the Curriculum.
We celebrate our differences through a range of events, organised by the school's Black Excellence group, LGBTQ+ group and Student and Staff Diversity Working Parties.
Diversity is also celebrated weekly though the Whole School Assembly programme and includes a range of important speakers and workshops.
Our Diversity training provided is All in Education.
TO READ OUR FULL EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY:
Black History Month Gala Concert
On Wednesday 1th October we celebrated our annual Black History Month Gala Concert, a vibrant spectacle of dance, poetry, and song. We also featured a panel debate with guests including entrepreneur Des Amey, Britian's first black Ballet School owner, Ruth Essell and Afro-Textured Hairdresser and author of 'You and Your hair', Sarah Roberts. Our panel contemplated what it meant to be a black girl in 2023. The event was the creation of year 11 students Erinayo Olubosola and Daniella Adusei, who confidently compared an account of black History through the contributions of 'black women who tell stories', the theme for this year's Black History Month. Families, performers and staff sat down together to enjoy an Afro-Caribbean feast of mutton curry, jerk chicken, fried chicken, vegetable curry, fish and jollof rice, which was lovingly prepared by Mrs Nembhard, parent of Rennisha-Rose Johnson, year 9. Performers included Bliss Okereafor, Kai'Shay Dobbs, Blessing Dossen, Inioluwa Akinola, Azaria Henry, Fehintoluwa Odeneye Williams, Lillian Yusuf, Raphaela Davies, Shaneia Wedderburn, Angel Mosely-Ward, Mahmoudat Saluwudeen, Schekina Danumah, Adure Ojinnaka, Chiamaka Fada, Eva-Marie Buchanan-Arscott, Ezra Phillips,Beulah Nyarko-Bekoe, Crystal Oware-Brown, T'iama Rose Krah, Allysia Asare, Naomi Okeremi, Adure Ojinaka and Kyhanna Chusney. Huge thanks to Ms Wynne and Ms Barnett, whoc sourced our panel members, to Ms Pryce and Mrs Burbeck who helped detail the histories of the 'women who tell stories', to the Art department who provided Black History Month Art work for display, to students who worked behind the scenes, including our year 11 prefect team and to staff who supervised the food distribution. This greatly loved October event remains a wonderful and joyous event for all. To get involved in planning next year's event, please contact Ms Singer, Ms Barnett or Ms Wynne.
Black History Month Assembly
Ms Barnett and the EDIT team marked the start of Black History Month this week, with a powerful whole school assembly about Black Identity and Black British icons. We will continue the festivities next week with a 'sell out' Black History Month Gala Concert. This will celebrate Black Culture and Identity through Dance, Music, Spoken Word and Art.
On Tuesday, Mrs Beevers and I had the please of leading a cultural trip to London, where students tasted British delicacies in Borough Market, visited Southwark Cathedral, explored London's Southbank and took in the modern art exhibitions at the Tate Modern. There are many interest groups and clubs to support students who have moved to the UK from other countries or have an interest in cultural diversity at Chislehurst School for Girls, including our Culture Club, Languages Club, Knitting Club, Ukrainian Fellowship, Equality, Black History Group, Diversity and Inclusion Team, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance and Light House Group. These groups are open to all students and reflect the Vibrancy and Inclusion Culture of our school. If you have any ideas for new Interest Groups, please let Ms Singer know so that this can be included in our programme!
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month
This week, staff and students have celebrated Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month in form time. They have explored the ancient origins of traveller communities in the UK and have had fun creating conversations using Roma words. Students have learnt that words such as 'lollipop' come from the Roma language, as well as many others. Students have also been listening to music from
travelling communities and have discussed what it means to have a home. Below are some recommended books written by Gypsy, Roma and Travellers.
Asian History Month Assembly
This week we celebrated Asian History Month with a vibrant and spectacular assembly, featuring Sri Lankan and Punjabi dance, poems and speeches. Ms Ramesh and her students from her Culture Club; Shenuli, Dahami, Valentina, Parnia, Iman, Tharshika, Ann, Sayesha, Amana, Iqra, Annabelle, Leela and Jnana transported students and staff to diverse Asian countries, displaying artifacts and colourful, sparkling sarees. We recognised the importance of Asian Britons to our nation and also the long history of Asian presence in Britain, as first recorded in ancient Roman manuscripts. In form time students have been reflecting on the importance of cultural identity and also what 'makes a nation', a continuous thread through Personal Development schemes of work. Ms Ramesh's Culture Club runs weekly in E4 and all students may join. It is one of a variety of interest groups run by staff at the school.
holocaust memorial day assembly 2023
We were pleased to welcome Judith Hayman, whose mother was a Holocaust survivor to the school on Monday 23rd January 2023. Judith recounted her mother's extra-ordinary tale to the whole cohort of year 8 students and this re-inforced our mission to fight against racism and inequlaity in all its forms. It is so important that we are able to recognise the signs of prejudice so that events like genocide can never happen. We look forward to Ms Cohen's whole school assemblies to mark Holocaust Memorial this week.
Black History Gala Concert
Staff, students and parents came together to celebrate Black History Month in an electrifying, student led Gala Concert, showcasing poetry, literature, screen plays, music and dance of black origin this week. The concert contained student performed pieces of Afro-beats dance and paid homage to Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Acevedo, Bob Marley as well as displaying students' own thoughts on their identity, history and experiences of growing up as black Britons. We would like to thank Erinayo Olubusola, Daniella Adusei Shaneia Wedderburn, Angel Mosely-Ward, Cerys Mills, Allysia Asare, Destiny Morrison, Tiffany Graham, Ashanti Tomlinson, Renee Tekyi, Rihanne Sawyer, Gabriella Oguntayo, Isatu Bah, Kai'Shay Dobbs, Cassy Oliseh, Kyanna Chisney, Chiamaka Fada, Eva Buchanan-Arcott, Nkem Amuta, Amanah Tasaddiq,Siarrah Qadri-Warburton, T'iama Rose-Krah,Schekina Danumah, Adure Ojinnaka, Estelle Mbueko and the Dance club for their outstanding contributions to this event. We all enjoyed Jollof rice, chicken drumsticks and meet pies from 'Tasty' West-African restaurant and Jerk chicken and Rice and beans from 'Fitz' Jamaican restaurant during the interval. We hope to make the concert a Chislehurst School for Girls tradition in coming years.
Black History Month
As part of our growing awareness of our unique and cherished identities we have been examining what makes us special. As part of our celebration of Black History Month we welcomed Sophia Strachan from 'Just as you are' to enrich our ongoing conversation about identity, race and mutual respect.
Sophia is a Personal Development Specialist and spoke to all students in our school. She has recently addressed several London Councils on the topic of Black History Month and its significance for everyone. Key messages were that we have so much more in common than we have differences, that everyone seeks love and acceptance from their peers and that we have a special responsibility to treat others as we would want to be treated in regards to our language and actions.
Student feedback has been very positive, and we look forward to continuing our understanding of ourselves and each other through our friendly conversations, our curriculum and special events, reaching out to others in a spirit of warmth and inclusion.
Students have led our celebration of Black History Month through a thought provoking assembly to the whole school this week. Above pictured are Estelle Mbueko, Daniella Adusei, Whitney Manny, Rachel King, Kristina Philbert, Erinayo Olubusola, Beulah Nyarko-Bekoe, Fantah-Shereh Jawara, Tayomi Grant-Ojo, Amanah Tasiddiq, Mahmoudat Salawudeen, Tchissola Brandao, Sophie Manny and Nkem Amuta with the pan-African flag. Students fed back on their experiences of hearing Baroness Floella Benjamin at the Empowerment Conference and their inspirations for the future. They also discussed their own personal identities as black Britons 2022.
Fifty year 9 and 10 students had the life affirming experience this week of attending the annual Empowerment Conference, where they participated in a Q & A session from feminists Melissa Cummings-Quarry and Natalie Carter, authors of Grown: The Black Girls Guide to Glowing Up. Students reflected on identity and female leadership qualities. Students also heard from Trinidadian-British actress, singer, presenter, author, businesswoman, and politician, Baroness Floella Benjamin. Her message was that that everyone can get to the top of their chosen career and that resilience is the most important quality for all female leaders.
Students listened to a talk by Worcester Warriors Rugby player Akina Gondwe and enjoyed a performance and discussion on mental health by pop-star Eleni Christophe. Year 9 student Erinayo commented that the conference made her 'feel strong and empowered by who I am and to believe that I am enough as a female of colour. All girls can reach for their best selves no matter what their identity. I feel confident to develop myself as a leader. The students will now reach out to others within the school community by leading projects to celebrate female empowerment and everyone's unique identity.
We were pleased to welcome Johan Jensen from All-in Education on Friday 27th May 2022 to lead staff training on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. All-in Education has extensive experience of working with education providers to help the to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can fulfil their potential. Chislehurst School for Girls continues in its commitment to represent all students from its rich and diverse range of communities, abilities and ways of life.
Mother Tongue assembly
We have recently celebrated our 'Mother Tongue' assembly in which we recognise over twenty community languages spoken at our school, including English. This year we have chosen to shine a spotlight on Eastern Europe as 7%of our students have an Eastern European language as their Mother Tongue. Students discussed the language, culture and traditions of Lithuania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and of course, Ukraine. We reflected on the difficult situation in eastern Europe and our hopes for peace.
Patrick Hutchinson Talk
We were delighted to welcome civil rights campaigner Patrick Hutchinson to our school on Wednesday 23rd March 2022. After receiving publicity in the summer of 2020, Patrick has written an acclaimed book called 'Everyone against the Racists'. He spoke to the whole school about his inspiring life and his views about how to be anti- racist in 2022. Students also had the opportunity to ask him their questions. We hope to welcome Patrick again in the future and continue to actively educate all students about anti- racism.
Szymon Glowaki - Roma Gypsy speaker
As part of the student's study of the Holocaust, we welcomed Szymon, from the Polish Roma community to school to discuss his family 's experiences of Nazi persecution in Poland during World War II. Syzmon also discussed his own lived experience of racism and gave us a an insight into the richness of Roma culture. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on how to be anti-racist in 2022.
Judith Hayman - Holocaust Survivor Speaker
We welcomed Judith Hayman, who is part of Manchester's Jewish Community in March 2021. Judith spoke to students about the experiences of her mother, Charlotte Kohn, an Austrian Jew, during the Holocaust. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on the messages from the past; that History must never be allowed to repeat itself. Students explored how the roots of racism begin to grow and how to challenge it.
Activities in this exciting January Enhancement Day allowed students to sample other cultures and traditions, including Bollywood Dancing, African History, Samosa making and an Asian fashion show! Students also created Mexican designs in the Global Art workshop.
Israel/ Palestine Workshop
Years 10 - 13 were treated with a workshop with Dr. Michael Talbot, an expert in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and senior lecturer at Cambridge University. Students explored the situation in Palestine and were reflective on the suffering of people on both sides of the conflict. Students prepared very well with a range of research and had the opportunity to ask questions. The credibility of some news reports and Internet sites were also discussed. Dr Talbot has also worked with the BBC and is a member of the BBC Arts and Humanities research council. We look forward to welcoming him at the school again in the near future.
The school has a vibrant Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which meets weekly. Students have planned the LGBTQ+ History month assembly this year and also organise events such as the LGBTQ+ cinema event and displays celebrating diversity.
We hope to offer our trip to Auschwitz – Birkenau again to students in the upper school (COVID pending). We last visited Poland in February 2019 and visited the old synagogues of Krakow, Oscar Schindler’s factory and the extermination camp and Auschwitz- Birkenau. We are committed to teaching students about the anti-racist message of Holocaust education and encourage students on the trip to carry out outreach work in the school community. Ms Cohen, Head of Religious Studies also plans and delivers the whole school Holocaust assembly and Enhancement Day.
Black Excellence group
Our Black Excellence group led informative assemblies explaining issues such as unconcious bias and colourism, as well as inspirational black role models. The impact was extremely powerful.