School Diversity Week: Schools on why they’re taking part

by Just Like Us
June 2022

Pupils share why they love celebrating School Diversity Week

School Diversity Week 2022 takes place 20-24 June in thousands of primary and secondary schools across the UK.

In a new video, school staff and pupils shared why they’re taking part.

Pupils and staff share why School Diversity Week is important to them

Pupils share why they love School Diversity Week

Tyannah, a Year 10 pupil, explained: “I feel like it’s really important to be inclusive of those people who are part of the LGBT+ community.”

Ahania, another Year 10 pupil, agreed. She said: “I think it widens the school community.

“It strengthens us because then we know that everyone is accepted, everyone gets treated equally.”

Year 11 pupil Libby said schools should take part because “it gives us the opportunity to be who we are without fear that people are going to judge us”.

Leah, also in Year 11, agreed. She said the event is important because “we’re given the chance to explore and learn about different things so that, in the future, we can go forward into the world as adults and have a broad understanding”.

Ijeoma’s school has also planned to celebrate School Diversity Week. She said the event is about “acceptance, celebration and respect”.

Celebrating in primary schools

In primary school, School Diversity Week is about celebrating diverse families (such as having lesbian mums), kindness and respecting difference.

“We wanted to do something at Norwich Primary Academy that celebrated equality and diversity across the school,” says Vice Principal Heather Denny.

“The top things that the children get out of School Diversity Week is they feel included at school, they feel welcomed when they come to school, and they feel safe.

“The resources from Just Like Us are brilliant. They cover everything from English to maths and arts.”

What does School Diversity Week mean to you?

Caitlin, a Year 4 pupil, said: “Diversity, to me, means everybody being different and celebrating their differences.”

“If someone does have two mummies or two daddies,” says Year 4 pupil Rihanna, “then you can say that you’re really lucky to have two of one type of parent.”

Tackling anti-LGBT+ bullying and language

Rebecca Handley-Kirk, the Principal at Norwich Primary Academy, explained: “The impact on pupils has been profound.”

“Children really think before they speak now. They’re thinking about the joking language that they used to use and it isn’t being used anymore. We’re not having homophobic language used on the playground.”

School Diversity Week helps young people to thrive

Assistant Head Teacher Debbie Connell explained the event is important because “students thrive when they feel accepted”.

“We’re academically driven but nobody is going to achieve academically if they don’t feel accepted,” she added.

Queen Mary’s High School in Walsall signed up to take part, alongside thousands of schools across the UK.

LRC Manager Helen Groves added: “It’s so important for our school, which is so diverse, that everyone has a voice and that they can see themselves in what they’re learning about.”

The impact of School Diversity Week

“The reaction from everybody within the school community about School Diversity Week has been really positive,” Helen added.

Sonia Taylor teaches English at Beauchamp College in Leicester. She said: “I’ve seen the difference and the impact it’s had when we’ve had School Diversity Week because they don’t feel alone.”