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The importance of diversity and inclusion

interfaith2As we continue to move forward in our increasingly diverse world, the need for applying the principles of diversity and inclusion in classrooms has never been more imperative. These are the fundamental principles that schools should practice to ensure that all students feel valued members of the school family and have the same opportunities to learn, grow and thrive.

At Redmaids’ High School we have always celebrated diversity. We have fostered equality in all our activities long before the 2010 Equality Act came into place and even before diversity and inclusion became widely talked about. Driven by our school ethos we went from equality to equity, so every student gets what they need to succeed. Our main priority has always been to create a sense of belonging in the classroom and a solid base to allow our students to set-off confidently on their learning journey.

Inclusive classrooms require a culture that is shared by all members of the school community. Here we pride ourselves on our non-discriminatory policies, our diverse curriculum, the marking of important dates, and the absence of offensive language in our learning tools. Providing an inclusive environment accessible to all students empowers student voice in classroom.

One of the initiatives that champions inclusion across our school is the Interfaith Club, led by Mrs Coghlan, Head of Religion, Philosophy & Ethics (RPE) and Mrs Sharpe, teacher of RPE. The Interfaith Club is a safe environment where the girls can discuss faith. The aims of the Club are to strengthen good inter-faith relations, increase their awareness of different and distinct faith communities and most importantly, increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious belief. The meetings take place every other Tuesday, lunchtimes from 1.20 pm, in Redland Hall Meeting Room and everyone is welcome to participate. Mrs Coghlan commented “It is wonderful for students to meet those across the year groups; to share their beliefs and ask questions in a warm and supportive environment. We have students participating from Christian, Muslim, Hindu and agnostic backgrounds, all interested in finding out more.

In a recent meeting, where we were sharing highlights of our favourite festivals, the conversation moved on to discussing the difficulties in celebrating when living in a different culture, where family and friends are overseas. This development of mutual support and understanding is important as it reinforces the feeling that we are all an integral part of the Redmaids' High School family.” 

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Date Posted: 24 January, 2022

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