Equal and Diversity in the Curriculum

A commitment to equality runs through our Curriculum offer.  We comply with our duties of the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 to ensure that the curriculum is accessible for those with disabilities and Special Educational Needs.

What are the main points of the Equality Act 2010?
The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds of any of these characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion/belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.

Equality and diversity competence: “the ability to function with awareness, knowledge and interpersonal skill when engaging people of different backgrounds, assumptions, beliefs, values and behaviours.” (Hogan 2007, p. 3)

Inclusivity: “the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others.” (Hockings 2010, p. 1)

At Lionwood we are committed to ensuring that our school and curriculum truly reflect the diversity within our community and the wider world.  This is a journey and we are always looking to make things better so that equality truly becomes a reality.  We do this by educating ourselves and others about the  life experiences of a wide variety of people throughout history and those that have been marginalised.  In addition we make sure our resources and teaching celebrate and acknowledge the variety of experiences, cultures and families that exist all around us.

Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum is the creating of learning, teaching and assessment environments and experiences that proactively eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations in a manner that values, preserves and responds to diversity.

This is done by:

Fostering belonging and engagement: 
• Create a safe and collaborative environment of mutual respect and honesty, conducive to pupils learning.
• Recognise and handle tension, strong emotions and/or controversy, acting sensitively to pupils’ feelings and beliefs.
• Recognise and manage potential and actual power differentials (e.g. between genders, races, classes etc.).
• Avoid sexist, racist, homophobic etc. language/humour.
• Use inclusive language to avoid stereotyping.
• Identify and plan to overcome barriers that prevent pupils from diverse backgrounds from learning.
• Provide opportunities for pupils to relate content and learning methods to their own experiences.
• Empower pupils to take responsibility for their own, and each other’s, learning.
• Provide opportunities for pupils to input on their learning journeys, acting as partners in their learning experience.

Enabling potential:
• Understand institutional equality and diversity data in relation to programmes of study.
• Get to know our pupils before we start teaching through transition.
• Ensure teaching methods and assessments do not place pupils at a disadvantage by varying assessment methods as necessary.
• Ensure teaching environments do not place students at a disadvantage e.g. by making them dyslexia/autism-friendly as well as putting necessary adjustments in place for specific disability or SEN needs.
• Vary teaching methods and learning activities to support diverse learning preferences and to encourage active participation of all pupils e.g. use of visual materials, coloured overlays, braille and differentiated tasks and support resources
• Adjust aspects of learning and teaching (content, learning activities, modes of learning etc.) based on pupil learning needs.
• Be clear (express don’t impress), encourage requests for clarifications and embed comprehension checks throughout learning and teaching activities.

Practising interactivity, awareness and understanding: 
• Provide opportunities for pupils to work with diverse and mixed groups.
• Use counter-stereotypical language.
• Provide content that covers contributions by people from multiple cultures.
• Provide content that covers multiple perspectives and theoretical standpoints.
• Integrate themes of equality, diversity and cultural relativity into material and activities, relating these to real world scenarios.
• Provide opportunities for the sharing of the diverse experiences, voices, and learning of pupils.
• Encourage the expression of diverse perspectives and interpretations.
• Develop learning outcomes that reflect engagement with equality and diversity.
• Develop student learning outcomes that reflect a development of equality and diversity competence.

Developing skills of self reflection
• Explore own identity beliefs, cultural assumptions and unconscious biases as part of class preparation.
• Staff to address own potential biases about curriculum related material during class.
• Staff to be mindful of own personal teaching and learning preferences and their influence on curriculum construction.
Provide opportunities for reflection and
understanding of cultural biases through learning
and teaching.
• Provide opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own approaches to equality and diversity.
• Provide opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own equality and diversity competence.