At Eltham, we aim to celebrate the diversity within our school community and the wider world and to develop children’s confidence in their individual identity through our unique curriculum. We are a fully inclusive school, welcoming our responsibilities under the Equalities Act 2010, and strive to promote equality in all that we do. We use examples of where this has not been the case in our society in the past to support learning and promote tolerance. These elements are carefully chosen, delivered sensitively and at an appropriate stage.
At Eltham, it is our mission to ensure every child feels represented, supported and celebrated throughout their whole learning journey with us. We aim to ensure Black history, in Britain and globally, is normalised and embedded in our curriculum, rather than being taught as a standalone entity.
Our Equality curriculum map shows how diversity, identity and Black history is embedded into our curriculum. These elements are central to all we do and this map provides an overview of where specific links are made.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation stage, we take opportunities throughout play based learning to promote diversity through resources such as small world figures of different ethnicities, multicultural baby dolls and ranges of different skin tone pencils, crayons and paint being accessible to use at all times. Purposeful planned group sessions are also used to promote equality, such as our ‘Ourselves’ topic and exploring different family structures. Stories for sharing are representative of the community we serve and the children enjoy understanding more about differences in each other’s appearances, foods, language and music.
EYFS & Key Stage 1
Eltham follows the Southwark Diocesan Syllabus for Religious Education which includes a range of historic and modern day issues, relating religious teachings to the current climate and forcing us to debate and openly discuss the importance of particular practices and messages. The religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism are also introduced to heighten children’s knowledge of alternative beliefs and provide an insight into other people’s lives. The principles of respecting each other and us all being of equal value are explored.
Key Stage 2
Children will meet Islam and Sikhism whilst in the Juniors. The significant similarities and differences between the world religions will be explored and children will have the opportunity to understand how and why different perspectives exist around the same theme or event. Children will be encouraged to explore their own beliefs and the reasons for the same, reflecting on other people’s right to feel differently.
It is a shared goal for us all to ensure our children learn to develop healthy respectful relationships, in all contexts, including online. Our Relationship lessons help equip our children for the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of being in a relationship with other people and over time, will help build their sense of identity and self confidence.
Responding to local and global events
Eltham has built a capacity to respond to local and national events and give children the time and space in the curriculum to understand, question and develop their own viewpoints on the world around them. The ability to discern, think critically and engage in a considered way is our goal. Our response to the Black Lives Matter campaign and the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence for example, has supported our children to develop their own opinion on racism, race relations and prejudice. Hopefully it has also given them the sense that positive change can be made but painful truths need to be acknowledged.
Themed Weeks and WONDER days
Themed weeks and WONDER days are a key feature of Eltham school and are central to maintaining our distinctive and unique curriculum. Global concepts such as poverty, social justice and sustainability provide further opportunity to explore difference, equality and race. By doing so in a structured and considered way, we are providing our children with the necessary tools to discern personal responses and support their future ability to navigate successfully in the modern world.
British values & School values
We believe that the British Values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect & Tolerance and Individual Liberty play a significant part in teaching equality and as such, are displayed in every classroom across the school. These principles are reflected in our school values of love, resilience, forgiveness, understanding, enthusiasm and respect, all of which are explicitly promoted in collective worship, displayed in classrooms and can be observed in the behaviour within all our communities.
Continual reflection and responding appropriately to often a fast changing landscape, will ensure our curriculum will continue to evolve and improve over time. We are receptive to the feedback of our communities and will strive to ensure that by the time every pupil leaves Eltham, they will do so as well rounded young people, with great insight and sensitivity and equipped to stand up in the face of adversity and inequality.