Brooklands believes that it is important for all children to learn about diversity in all its forms (disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation). Our curriculum planning encompasses the full breadth of diversity and inclusion and is done very sensitively and in an age appropriate way. This helps to create a more inclusive and understanding society and properly prepares our children for life in a diverse society.
Children need to develop an understanding of difference and of the importance of treating others with respect. It also helps to ensure that children and their families feel safe and supported in school.
In education we draw on the a concept called “Mirrors and Windows”. Windows offer us the potential of a new view, while mirrors offer back reflections. This concept emphasizes how important it is that when a child looks around a classroom – at the dolls, the plastic food in the role-play area, the dress-up clothes, and the pictures on the wall and in the books – they find mirrors that reflect their own identities and life experiences back at them and windows that give them a peek into the identities and lives of people who are different from them.
Parents may not be aware that Brooklands has a legal and moral requirement to ensure that LGBTQ+ inclusion is addressed within our curriculum. DfE guidance says that “Primary Schools can teach LGBTQ+ content when they feel it’s appropriate to do so.” As a school, we are very mindful of the resources and approaches we take to ensure that this is taught appropriately for the age of our children and is sensitive to their needs.
The LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum goes beyond teaching children about LGBTQ+ issues in PSHE, ensuring that LGBTQ+ families, people and themes are embedded throughout the curriculum in a considered and age-appropriate way.
Using books which reflect LGBTQ+ families and identities. (such as ‘And Tango Makes Three’) is one of the many ways we make our curriculum inclusive. Books used at Brooklands are carefully chosen, based on recommendations from appropriate sources. Brooklands holds an extensive library of books and actively encourages our children to immerse themselves in reading, we do not therefore, have a set/static book list at the school as it is constantly being updated and added to and books will change frequently. On an ad hoc basis we share books being read on ClassDojo and highlight some of the themes that are being addressed.
LGBTQ+ visibility is built into maths lessons through the wording of word problems such as ‘Laura builds a tree house with her mums. The perimeter of Laura’s tree house is 12m. What could the area be?’ Similarly, in science children may be asked to use their scientific skills to explore a problem e.g. ‘Nita and her dads want to go on a healthy picnic. What foods could they take?’
Across the curriculum our children study significant individuals representative of the LGBTQ+ community for example in art they look at paintings by Frida Kahlo.
Brooklands also regularly welcomes visitors representative of the LGBTQ+ community such as Mama G.
Brooklands is proud to be the first school in Suffolk working towards the Rainbow Flag Award in recognition of our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion and visibility.