Last week's senior assembly was led by Mrs Thomas and featured an important visitor- PC Max Flavell from Cheshire Constabulary.
February is LGBTQ+ History month which focuses on the celebration and recognition of members of the LGBTQ+ culture and community. By exploring the past and present we are able to talk about and see the bigger picture of LGBTQ+ experiences, in which members of the community were the agents of change rather than just victims of prejudice.
As a society, the more we talk and educate everyone of all ages about sexual orientation and gender identity, the more we create a safer and accepting world. By educating the younger generation on these topics, children who are struggling and confused learn the vocabulary that will help them to understand who they are and learn this safely.
Mrs Thomas’ assembly, through mentioning the discrimination, prejudice and abuse members of the LGBTQ+ have recieved and sadly still do, focused on the celebration of love, in all of its forms. They watched a short video that celebrates love between couples, friends and family and showed that love does not see gender, race, religion or disability. The children were then asked to express how this made them feel and how they perceived the video, they said it was ‘heartwarming’ and that they ‘were happy to see people being able to express their true selves’. Their feedback was only positive.
The children first learnt what LGBTQ+ stands for, lets recap:
Transexual - somebody whose gender does not align with the one that they were assigned at birth.
Queer/Questioning - somebody who doesn’t feel that their gender identity or sexual orientation can be described by any of the labels above.
PLUS - there are many more gender identities and sexual orientations that do not simply fit into the above list of terms.
It is important that we celebrate sexual diversity and raise awareness about the human rights of LGBTQ+ community. To do this we should:
Explore the history, lives and personal experiences in education and in the wider community.
Raise awareness on matters affecting the LGBTQ+ community
Work to make Terra Nova a safe space for EVERYONE.
The children discussed homophobia: the discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This continues to happen today. When asked how this made them feel, they said that they were ‘sad’, ‘angry’ and ‘ashamed’. Unfortunately, homophobic slurs are still thrown around and although they are not always used to deliberately offend anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, they can be very harmful.
How would pupils who belong in the community feel when they hear these phrases all the time in school? It’s very likely to put them off telling their friends and anyone else about their true self, isolating them and creating a negative time in their life. So they have learnt the phrase, STAMP IT OUT and at Terra Nova our community will be making sure to stamp it out.
The children were then introduced to their guest speaker, PC Max Flavell, a member of the Cheshire Constabulary who is a twenty-four year old gay man. PC Flavell answered the pupils’ many questions with a genuine openness. He was incredibly generous in giving us his time and we have no doubt of the impact of this conversation. The children asked questions such as:
How old were you when you knew you were gay?
What did your colleagues say when they knew you were gay?
How supportive were your parents when you came out?
Did being gay impact the job you chose?
Have you ever received abuse from colleagues?
Were you bullied at school?
We want everyone to know that the LGBTQ+ community is part of the whole community at Terra Nova School. As a reflection, we said:
Be who you want to be
Find out more
Support your friends
Be accepting of others
Talk about it