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Upper school celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month 2022

Preston Manor Upper School staff and students have gone all ‘out’ to produce a wonderful array of special events and learning to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month!  Traditionally celebrated in February, the event highlights the history of struggle and bias and discrimination towards this community. The month also positively highlights the triumphs and inclusivity that the struggles have activated.

The students and staff focused on the theme "Politics in Art" and for the first time facilitated a student trip to an all-inclusive West End production.  We escorted 30 Year 10 – Year 13 students to watch a West End production “&Juliet” which had a LGBTQ+ inclusive cast and script. The students thoroughly enjoyed this experience.

Students produced a podcast based on Role Models (Arc is long Edition), which covered all aspects of role models but also looked at LGBTQ+ questions as part of the topic. Guest Speaker from Just Like Us (Young People’s Charity) engaged with our Year 8 - Year 9 students about Key LGBT+ terms and definitions and provided resources for support. Workshop by MOSAIC Young Person’s Trust presented information on gender identity to our Year 10 students.  The Art department encouraged all students to enter The LGBTQ+ History Month National Badge Competition where students designed next year’s LGBTQ+ History Month awareness badge.

This awareness month has created a buzz around the school including many open dialogues between staff and students and created the perfect opportunity to continue to improve our inclusive practice across the whole school by modelling inclusive curriculum ideas. It has also given staff the confidence to present PSHE lessons, organically creating a student group of students to create a safe space to meet, tackling discrimination through education rather than just punitively and encouraging use of inclusive pronouns.

'Mx Briggs (Deputy SENCO KS3) commented on the success of the rich learning around LGBTQ+ History Month. "It has been a proud moment to lead on this inclusive journey for both staff and students at Preston Manor. The talk it has created in order to drive us forward into the twenty twenties and help make every single person feel safe and included."