Racial Justice, Equality and Diversity (RJED)
At St Anne’s and Guardian Angels, RJED is not a standalone concept but built into the culture and ethos of the school. We are working with staff, pupils and their families to enhance the good practise that we already have in place to ensure that our school is an inclusive and equitable place to learn and work. As such, the RJED work that we are undertaking is one element in our broader work around the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act. We have appointed a member of our middle leadership team to lead on this area. Throughout the year they will contribute to SLT meetings and present to the Governing Body on the work that the school is doing and more importantly, its impact.
Curriculum topics are diverse and we include topics such as the Windrush, The Brixton Uprisings, Immigration to East London throughout history (including the Huguenots, Jewish settlers, the Bangladeshi community) Fairtrade, the Commonwealth, Benin Civilisation as well as the geographical study of countries such as Ghana and Bangladesh. In our knowledge organisers, we also include RJED links where appropriate, which guides teachers on how to teach about other racial groups living in eras such as the Stone Age, Tudor period and in WW1/2. Whilst we have designed a curriculum that celebrates diversity, reflects our school community and addresses themes around equality all year round, we acknowledge the importance of celebrating Black History Month and Refugee week in their own right.
Each of our classes are named after saints and we have changed some of our class saints to reflect more racial and gender diversity. This gives pupils the opportunity to learn about a greater range of Catholic Christians which we hope will enrich their religious knowledge and literacy. We have also reviewed the iconography and religious images that we use around the school and made changes to ensure that they reflect the diversity of our school community. This in particular has been well-received by our parents/carers.
We have held many whole school RJED related celebration events which have involved parents. Celebrations include World religion day, Black History Month, Cultural Day, Human Rights Day and National Afro Day. Our parental turnout in these events are good and we receive positive feedback from them. Last term we also held a parents’ workshop where we met with parents explaining our plans regarding RJED and asking for their opinions and suggestions. We also have a good relationship with nearby schools (which have a high number of Muslim pupils) who often join us in our events. We encourage year groups across the school to visit other places of worship as part of our study of other faiths.
The RJED lead and our resident librarian also work together to organise regular whole school library events based on RJED/inclusion/equality related topics (e.g. Deaf Awareness Week, Mental Health Week, Disability Awareness Day, Refugee Week, BHM, World Religion Day). Here, classes have enjoyed Windrush picture exhibitions, learning BSL, writing messages on our ‘be good to yourself’ mental health wall and creating music videos celebrating black artists.
Our staff have recieved CPD explaining what RJED is and what it will look like in our school. This helped staff understand the importance of our RJED practice. Staff members have also had unconscious bias training.