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Getting started in primary schools Chris Gibbons Senior Education Officer.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting started in primary schools Chris Gibbons Senior Education Officer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting started in primary schools Chris Gibbons Senior Education Officer

2 What this will cover Homophobic bullying in primary schools: what we know The school experience: – Malmesbury Park School – Broadgreen Primary School Group work: lesson ideas Q&A

3 Section 28: gone but not forgotten? Im not sure of the law – I know I am not allowed to promote homosexuality and am not sure what this involves. Zoe, teacher, independent primary school

4 More than two in five primary school teachers say children in their schools experience homophobic bullying Most reasons given are unrelated to sexual orientation More than nine in ten have had no specific training to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying


6 Homophobic language Most prevalent form of homophobic behaviour in schools One in five say primary school staff say children in their schools experience homophobic verbal abuse Three quarters of primary school teachers hear children say youre so gay or thats so gay at school Two in five report hearing remarks such as poof, dyke, queer or faggot

7 Which children in primary schools might experience homophobic bullying?

8 Children who: -are thought to be different in some way -boys who dont act like boys -boys who dont play sports -girls who dont act like girls -girls who do play sports -work hard in class or underachieve -arent part of the gang -have gay family members and friends

9 Alison Gaunt Malmesbury Park School, Bournemouth

10 Malmesbury Park School A three form entry primary school with approximately 700 pupils. A happy and friendly atmosphere where children can grow to be responsible and caring members of the community. A rich diversity of culture, religion, colour and faith, celebrating 29 different home languages.

11 How did the lesson come about? To tackle the incorrect use of the term gay in our school. To use the information gained from the Stonewall conference in November The opportunity to work in partnership with the Local Authority to produce a lesson plan.

12 What did we want to achieve? To link our anti-bullying work to the PSHE days we already have in place as part of our curriculum. To increase the childrens self awareness of their own family and to give them a sense of pride in their family. To link different families in to the Rainbow scheme of work.

13 What did we want to achieve? For other children to be aware and respect other family types and understand that other children might be proud of their family. Cover a range of family types including same sex parents, single parent families, foster parents, step parents and adoption.

14 What did the lesson include? An introduction into similarities and differences between us – eye colour, hair colour, hobbies, clothing etc. Reading books that subtly introduce different family types.

15 What did the lesson include? Main activity was to produce a Different Families, Same Love poster for their class.

16 Considerations Avoid any isolating activities where children might be singled out. Staff reminded about how to report or deal with any disclosures made during the lesson. The possibility of discussions or feelings being brought up of separation and loss.

17 Considerations Do you have any specially trained staff who can help? Our Emotional Literacy and Feelings staff work with children who have particular personal and emotional needs. Preparing the staff in advance meant they could prepare.

18 Julie McCann Broadgreen Primary School, Liverpool

19 Broadgreen Primary – Our Journey Julie McCann Advanced Skills Teacher, Broadgreen Primary, Liverpool SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education) Trainer

20 Aims To demonstrate that talking about different families and tackling homophobia in a primary school is not difficult. To share the experience of one primary school in Liverpool.

21 Broadgreen Primary School: Context Largely white working class intake; Free school meals – 33%; Outskirts of Liverpool; Leading school in PSHEe; Philosophy for Children; Excellent community engagement; CARE code.

22 Getting Started Initial Needs Assessment; Action Plan Targets: – policies to address homophobia; – issues of homophobic bullying to be recorded; – all staff to access training to support them in understanding and challenging homophobia.

23 Student Council Bullying survey; Rewrote bullying policy to include homophobic bullying; Met with Lydia Malmedie of Stonewall; Agreed to take part in a campaign to challenge homophobia and gender stereotyping, and celebrate different families; Disseminated information to their classmates.

24 School Staff Head teacher commitment; Committed to challenging prejudice but varying levels of confidence in doing so; Initial staff meeting following student council consultation; INSET with other schools & LEA advisor invited.

25 Resourcing

26 The Family Book

27 Dad David, Baba Chris and Me - 1



30 Dad David, Baba Chris and Me - 2


32 Different Families Same Love

33 Impact on Learning Encourages empathy, care, respect for difference. Relationships within class improved. Children and adults more able and willing to tackle homophobia. Children more comfortable with diverse family types.

34 Further advice, support or help...

35 Designing an inclusive curriculum

36 Curriculum and teaching Almost two thirds of primary school teachers have not addressed sexual orientation in their lessons. A third who have not done so think it is not relevant in their lessons One in four would not feel confident in responding if a pupil asked questions regarding gay issues in the classroom More than a third of teachers know pupils with gay parents or family members

37 Discussion What activities could a you do with children to address difference and celebrate different families, including families with lesbian and gay parents? What do you do on ethnicity, for example? What issues might arise when, for example, making mothers and fathers day cards? How can you make sure everyone feels included? Who else should you involve?

38 Resources

39 Primary school books And Tango Makes Three King and King Spacegirl Pukes The Sissy Duckling + lesson plans More at

40 An inclusive curriculum : -makes all children, including those with gay family and friends, feel included -reflects the lives of all children in your class -helps tackle bullying -helps create an environment of respect -gives children the opportunity to discuss difference in a safe and structured environment

41 Take a consistent zero-tolerance approach to homophobic language Make sure your school has an up-to-date anti- bullying policy which includes homophobic bullying and language, and make sure the whole school is aware of it

42 Use the curriculum to talk about language (or SEAL and Circle Time in primary) Use key events in the academic year (Anti-Bullying Week, LGBT History Month) Involve your wider school community Practice what you preach!


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