13 February 2020

Understanding and celebrating difference

Year 9 have recently had the opportunity to explore and learn about community cohesion, with a focus on single issue topics: LGBT hate crime and race/religion hate crime, and the impact of hate.

Eight groups of 25 students attended sessions led by trainers from The Zone Plymouth, as part the College’s regular ‘curriculum collapse’ days.

Jodie Frost, Project Lead & Facilitator at The Zone Plymouth, said: “The overall idea of the sessions was to explore and understand difference, to promote acceptance, explore language and begin questioning preconceived ideas and concepts.

“The sessions were largely activity based with young people being encouraged to participate, ask questions and share their views and opinions.”

Head of Year 9, Mr Ward, said: “The students gained an understanding of different ethnic groups, religions and all things associated with relationships and gender identity. They have also seen how people in our community are affected by wrong perceptions in society, by discrimination and by hate crime, whereas everybody should be treated equally.

“The impact of discrimination and of people not being treated the same was made clear, for example, they learnt about the high suicide rate among young gay men.”

Mr Ward added: “These days are all about ethos, and they are intended to prepare our students for society. It is important that we develop well-rounded individuals with an understanding of society as it is today.

“And the students enjoy discussing these topics. It is an opportunity for them to share their opinion in a safe environment with their peers.”

One student, Angel, said after the LGBT session: “It’s good for people to learn what should and should not be said. If everyone was treated the same way, and not differently, they could feel confident about being who they are without being judged.”

The College would like to thank the staff at The Zone Plymouth for delivering these excellent sessions for our students.