Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Hub
Our Mission Statement
At Beaconsfield High School, we are committed to creating a culture of belonging, by learning and educating our community about the rich and diverse community that we are, and the globally diverse community we are a part of. We will nurture an environment where every member of staff and student feels safe and able to express their identity with pride and respect; they will #daretobe. We proactively ensure that all areas of school life centralise diversity and inclusion, including curriculum, pedagogy, organizational culture and pastoral support.
At Beaconsfield High School we are committed to embedding diversity, inclusion, equity and equality into all areas of school life:
- Our curriculum
- Staff training and development
- Student Pastoral programmes
- The School Environment
- Language and Literacy
- Supporting our parenting community with DEI awareness and education
- Student-led initiatives in school and extra-curricular activities.
Our Actions So Far
Meet Zahara Chowdhury! This academic year we have appointed a Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion to create our vision and embed practices across the curriculum, pastoral and within school culture so we can sustain our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. Zahara will support the school to nurture a community of diverse, empathetic and global citizens whilst ensuring our school creates a strong culture of belonging for everyone.
Zahara is a previous Head of English, Associate Senior Leader and Education and Wellbeing Consultant. She is also a blogger and podcaster, where she talks with individuals within the field of DEI about all the things School Should Be. If you have any questions or would like to talk about diversity, equality and inclusion you can email Zahara here
We are proud members of The Global Equality Collective, the first diversity, equality, inclusion and justice app for education and workplaces. The GEC provide schools with a range of resources, training and development to support our curriculum and staff to further reinforce our ethos and commitment to create a culture of empathy and respect for all.
In September 2021 we conducted a student diversity, equality and inclusion survey to help us understand how our students perceive DEI across the school. Based on the survey and conversations with students across the school, we invited Just Like Us, a charity, which shares the lived experiences of LGBT+ young people at school. Just Like Us hosted virtual assemblies for all year groups, sharing the diverse experiences of young people in the LGBT+ community.
We ran a Black History Month Competition for students to submit lessons and information they’d like to see on the curriculum about Black History to share with staff. One of our DEI prefects, Eva, led virtual assemblies on Black History Month for all year groups too.
Zahara has written for Metro.co.uk in an article entitled 'One in five teachers are still uncomfortable discussing LGBT topics with children'. She also writes about the importance of Uncomfortable and Necessary Conversations we need to have with students in school – and why school is the best place to start in this Schools Week article.
In light of the tragic murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and the call to centralise female safety, Zahara led a school wide conference in collaboration with The Global Equality Collective: Uncomfortable Conversations - Overcoming Toxic Masculinity in Schools. The conference was attended by 16 schools and we received some incredibly positive feedback for those that joined us. The key note speaker was author, writer and speaker Hira Ali (pictured)
It was superbly run and extremely relevant and relatable points of view being expressed in a fairly actionable way. Its extremely courageous and amazing to put on such a conference. I am extraordinarily grateful that I was able to take part.
I felt part of a conversation, listened to and respected. Being able to input in real time answers to questions about what makes feel uncomfortable and why...and seeing those responses so clearly presented... was just amazing! There were fantastic actionable take-aways from the GEC presentation. I have already forwarded this to many colleagues and people in the part of government that I work with that I feel would benefit and perhaps also pass it on. Really useful resources.
Uncomfortable Conversations Webinar series: A series of webinars created by us helping parents talk to their children about topics such as neurodiversity, student wellbeing, anti-racism and gender equality (to name just a handful of proposed webinar subjects). Each webinar features an expert in the field as well as lived experiences from our diverse student body.
Events and Resources
Our DEI Prefects have hosted a Divali and Bandi Chhor Lunch and a Tamil Heritage Month Celebration Lunch with music, food and fun. All money raised went to their chosen charities. Students also lead IslamSoc and PrideSoc and are here to support all students, so our students can feel free to approach them in school or share any thoughts they have about diversity, equality and inclusion at BHS.
Adiche’s Ted Talk is an engaging and candid exploration of her lived experience and the impact of stereotypes and our language on our relationships, environment and education. After watching the Ted Talk, have a think about the following questions from the organisation, Facing History and Ourselves:
Has someone else ever made an assumption about you because of some aspect of your identity?
Was it a positive assumption or a negative one?
How did you find out about the assumption?
How did you respond?
- The organisation Facing History and Ourselves offers some excellent and valuable resources and thinking points for teachers, students and parents to think about history and identity from a range of diverse perspectives.
- The GEC’s Raising Rebels is an excellent, free resource for all parents to explore and learn about gender equality at home with their children.
- To support our staff with their DEI awareness and action across the curriculum, Zahara writes a DEI Newsletter for all staff, which includes upcoming events, bitesize pieces on how to embed DEI into the school culture, recommended resources, books and podcasts.
- If you are a student at Becky High, you can access the Equality, Diversities and Charities SharePoint created by our 2020 - 2021 Head Girl team. It contains information on a variety of current topics including anti-racism, the crisis in Yemen and the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Watch this space for more updates. There are recommendations for additional resources (i.e. books, podcasts, TV shows etc) to further enhance your understanding of these key global issues and the platform will be regularly updated with new resources for the three topics already available, as well as additional topics.
Zahara puts together a half termly Diversity, Equality and Inclusion newsletter for staff which you can read below.