Carden Primary School seeks to foster a warm, welcoming and respectful environment which allows us to question and challenge discrimination and inequalities, resolve conflicts peacefully and work and learn free from harassment and violence.We recognise that there are similarities and differences between individuals and groups and strive to ensure that our differences do not become barriers to participation, access and learning and create inclusive processes and practices, where the varying needs of individuals and groups are identified and met. We therefore cannot achieve equality for all by treating everyone the same. We believe we all have equal rights, but may have different needs.
As well as the specific equality objectives that we are working on and are set out in our Accessibility Action Plan, Carden takes a whole school approach to equality and community cohesion. We seek to embed equality of access, opportunity and outcome for all members of our school community, within all aspects of school life. We actively seek out opportunities in and outside of the curriculum to embrace all aspects of equalities some examples of which are listed below:
Holocaust Memorial Day - Over the past 5 years, Year 6 pupils have studied the effects of the Holocaust as part of Carden's work on equality. Children have had opportunities to meet survivors/witnesses and their descendants and listen to their stories learning valuable lessons about prejudice and discrimination. Each year pupils have contributed to Brighton and Hove's Holocaust Memorial Day event and have had their work exhibited in public spaces such as Jubilee library and the Old Courtroom, been interviewed by TV, radio and newspapers and given speeches about the importance of celebrating diversity and acceptance. Carden leads the way across the city by being a founder member of the Brighton and Hove Holocaust Education Project.
"Listening to Rosa and Sheindi gave me goosebumps. Their story was like a script from a film. I couldn't believe that some people could be so cruel just because they were different."
International Woman's Day/Disability Awareness - To celebrate International Woman's Day, Key Stage 2 children have been visited by two women who have made their own films to address the challenges they face with being learning disabled. Becky and Sarah work with the Brighton based charity Carousel on the Oska Bright film festival and have travelled all around Europe, Canada and Australia showing their films which aim to educate and challenge prejudice and discrimination towards those with learning difficulties. The children were inspired by the presentation and films they were shown and were reminded of the importance to treat everyone equally regardless of ability, gender, race, religion, age or sexuality.
"It doesn't make any sense to me that people who are different should be treated differently. We're all different. No one is the same. Our differences should be celebrated everywhere in the world just like we do here at Carden."
LGBT - As part of our groundbreaking work on equality, Year 5 and 6 pupils at Carden over the last 4 years have had the chance to meet members of the award winning charity Allsorts. The children have heard how homophobic name calling can effect the lives of members of the LGBT community and discussed ways to tackle discriminating language and behaviour . Representatives of Year 6 were asked by Brighton and Hove City Council to be interviewed by the charity Stonewall as examples of Best Practice across the city. We are proud to fly the rainbow flag at Carden during LGBT history month and over the Pride weekend in August.
"It’s not OK to use the word gay to mean rubbish as it is offensive to LGBT people and can upset them."
Black History Month - Each year during October, children are taught about Black History and the importance this has had on shaping all history. The challenges and contributions faced by local people are explored and children across KS2 complete an extended home learning biographical project on someone who has inspired them. As part of Year 6 1960s topic, the impact of the civil rights movement is taught in great depth. Children also study and consider the effects of prejudice and discrimination experienced by the people who moved to Britain during this period with particular reference to Caribbean nurses in Brighton.
"Learning about the civil rights movement has made me realise how far we have come but in some places there is still much to do. It's really important to learn about equality as we should treat people as we would want to be treated. The Golden Rule!"
Working With Others RE Days - As part of our RE work to promote acceptance and tolerance of world religions, pupils in Key Stage 2 regularly take part in vertically grouped RE Days where they explore aspects of life for all world faiths. To support this we have been visited by local the local Rabbi, Imam and Priest and have visited local religious buildings. We also proudly fly our Interfaith Flag at various times of the year.
"I have enjoyed learning about other world religions and have realised that there are more similarities than differences."
HIV/AIDS - During Year 6 Sex and Relationship Education work, members of Positive Voices from the Sexual Health Charity Terence Higgins Trust visit Carden. Workshops help children to challenge stereotypes and consider the effects of ignorance in prejudice and discrimination. Baroness Gould (past chair of the Government's Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV) was impressed with the level of knowledge and understanding when she visited one of these workshops.
"I thought Sue and Carl were brave to talk to us about living with HIV. I learnt that they are just the same as us.
HIV is just a small virus. It doesn't change who you are. People with HIV shouldn't be treated differently."