Primary school children come from a variety of backgrounds and families. Celebrating and acknowledging different families is crucial to make all children feel welcome and enable them to learn how to value those who are different.
Children prosper academically and developmentally in classrooms where they feel welcome and safe. Unfortunately, hurtful language is very commonplace in primary schools. More than two in five primary school staff in Wales say pupils in their school have experienced homophobic bullying or name-calling.
This sort of homophobic language can affect any students perceived as different including boys who apply themselves academically, girls who behave like boys and children with same-sex parents.
By attending a Train the Trainer course, schools become a School Champion, which means that Stonewall Cymru partners with schools to help them celebrate different families and address homophobic language and gender stereotyping and identity issues in the classroom.
Why should my primary school join?
You will be prepared for your Estyn inspections. Stonewall Cymru’s expertise in advising primary schools how to navigate their legal obligations is second to none. Estyn’s most recent inspection framework requires its inspectors to investigate what primary schools are doing to celebrate different families and to address bullying in all of its forms. At the same time, schools are required under the Equality Act (2010) to actively tackle homophobia and protect those who might experience it. Because Stonewall Cymru has worked with Estyn and other government agencies to create these legal requirements, we are perfectly placed to help your school meet them.
You will help your pupils reach their potential. Pupils who hear homophobic language and abuse are more likely to struggle academically, become truant and suffer emotional and learning difficulties. By challenging such behaviour as it surfaces in a straightforward manner, you will give all your pupils the opportunity to reach their potential as healthy, driven and safe children. What's more, pupils who see their families and lives reflected in their learning are much more likely to feel included in school and as a result perform better.
You will empower your staff. All teachers want what is best for their students and more often than not they are aware of the problem that homophobic language presents to their classrooms. But many simply feel ill-equipped to deal sensitively and effectively with it. By making the most of Stonewall's experience and expertise, you can empower your staff to tackle these issues with confidence.
You will create a happy, welcoming learning environment. All primary schools aspire to creating for their pupils, a safe place where they feel welcomed and happy. By working with Stonewall Cymru, you can help to safeguard such a positive learning environment by promoting a celebration of difference and empathy towards people from different family backgrounds.