The aim at Queens has always been to instil every student with the confidence that they can take every opportunity offered to them. An important part of this is teaching that whoever they may be, they are worthy of success. Diversity plays a big part in this as it allows us to celebrate all the different cultures, ethnicities and sexualities that are found at our school.
School Diversity Week for us at Queens meant festivity and remembrance; remembering how far we’ve come and acknowledging those who helped get us here.
We commemorated pride with a week of LGBT+ themed films, books and rainbow treats in the library every day at lunch. One of the films we watched was called ‘Pride’ and as much as it looks to recognise what there is to celebrate, it also goes over the resistance faced in the last couple of decades. We enjoyed celebrating a week all about spreading love and made sure we were there for any student that felt less able to celebrate for whatever reason. We find events like these are important for students yet to come out about who they are; showing that when they do, there’ll be people there to support them.
As Diversity Captains we aimed to make the week fun and enjoyable for all. An important aspect was the decoration, and the library was very festive, decked with rainbow bunting. All year groups were invited to a school assembly on Tuesday, which allowed us to talk about the importance of celebrating who you are to the whole school.
We are lucky that Queens has Diversity Captains in Sixth Form because it’s such an important aspect to showing young people that they are all valued. The difference it has made to us is in our confidence and pride for being given the responsibility to spread such a valid and vital message.
When asked to write about School Diversity Week, it’s surprising how few ideas sprung to mind. It’s often hard to write about something for which you feel so passionately, as anything less than perfection doesn’t seem right.
For me, School Diversity Week plays such a crucial part in challenging the stereotyping and discrimination still faced by LGBT+ youth today. Becoming a Diversity Prefect in my school and taking part in organising and carrying out our celebrations has helped me become closer to my brother. He came out to me a few years ago and at the time it was difficult to find the right words to show how proud I was of him and that I supported him endlessly. It’s through events such as School Diversity Week that we can help educate people on the right words to say to show your support, that we can raise awareness of the prejudice still faced by LGBT+ youth, and that we can celebrate the amazing diversity of people within and outside our school. It’s perhaps through these small steps towards a fairer, more equal society, that we as a school can do something amazing.