As a school, we take a strong stand against any form of racism or racial discrimination. However many people find this an uncomfortable topic to discuss with their children: we may not wish to expose our children to the harsh reality; we may not fully understand the issues ourselves or may not have the answers that our children may be looking for.
Whilst this may make us uncomfortable, it is vital that we have these conversations with our children, both as parents and educators.
We are committed to being anti-racist and we recognise that education is the most important means by which we can overcome discrimination. We must ensure that our children have the knowledge, skills and courage to challenge discriminatory views when they come across them. Racism is something that we must all strive to defeat and recent events (Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the racist abuse towards certain members of the Euro 2020 team) have shown us that we, as a society, sadly still have a long way to go.
Over the past year, we have begun to review and improve diversity in the books that are available to our children in the library. We are also working with an educational consultant, Pran Patel with the following aims:
- Train staff in developing their understand of racism and racial discrimination as well as the language around this.
- Develop our curriculum to celebrate diversity and representation whilst teaching children to be 'anti-racist'.
- Review school policies with particular regard to behaviour and assessment to ensure that these reflect our school values for all of our families regardless of background.
- Increase the diversity of our staff and governors through a more considered approach to recruitment, actively seeking from a wider range of backgrounds.
We don't have all the answers - whilst the Bridge School community has ethnically diversity, it is still predominantly 'white' and we recognise that we need to listen to people who have experienced racial abuse or discrimination. If you can help, or would like to be involved in this work, then please get in contact. We are a strong community and increasing our diversity can only serve to make us stronger.
Resources to Support Conversations
The School that Tried to End Racism | Channel 4 documentary
What is racism - and what can be done about it? | CBBC Newsround (suitable for 6 to 12 year olds)
George Floyd: Why are there huge protests in the US and around the world? | CBBC Newsround (suitable for 6 to 12 year olds)
Talking to children about racism | NSPCC
Tips for Talking with Children About Racism and Social Justice | Save the Children