Representing Diversity at Carlisle Infant School
Everyone is Awesome
At Carlisle Infant School we are committed to improving and developing our curriculum and ethos so that it can be as representative of the world as possible.
We aim for our lessons to incorporate and celebrate diversity as much as possible, promoting respect and inclusion for all! We want our curriculum to be filled with opportunities for children to regularly learn about, and be inspired by people of all backgrounds, abilities, cultures, genders, sexualities, religions and ethnicities. We believe that celebrating diversity should be embedded in the learning that happens at Carlisle Infant School and should be discussed as often as possible across the year. Utilising every opportunity to develop diversity in our curriculum is a continual process and something we are all committed to and for which we share great enthusiasm.
What do we mean by ‘diversity'?
‘Diversity’ may have different meanings and connotations to different people, but at Carlisle Infant School we consider the nine protected characteristics outlined in the 2010 Equality Act to form our vision for inclusivity and to represent and reflect the world in which our children are growing up.
Who is involved?
Everyone! We recognise that we need all stakeholders to contribute to ensuring we are a fully inclusive school which celebrates diversity and ensures representation throughout the curriculum plays a core part in what we offer to our pupils.
We have different members of staff who take a lead on diversity in our school. Mrs Brittain, our Headteacher and Mr Wells, our Deputy Headteacher take an overarching lead on driving and monitoring our commitment to the representation of diversity in our school and across the curriculum. Our Lead for those who speak English as an Additional Language is Miss Hayman, Mrs Coombes is our Religious Education Lead and Miss Irwin takes the Lead for Personal, Social and Health Education and supports the development of Relationships Education in our school.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions on how we can make our offer even better, don’t hesitate to contact one of the team of Diversity Leads to share your ideas.
All staff at Carlisle Infant School are truly committed to ensuring children come first and ensuring they feel included and represented in what they experience at school every day. Staff were very enthusiastic to shape school priorities around celebrating diversity in our school, offering a wealth of ideas for how these developments could be achieved.
Training has taken place around equality, equity, families and race which has helped to open up discussions and confidence in how these concepts can be explored with our children in an inclusive and age appropriate manner.
The voice of our parents is very important to us a Carlisle Infant School and we recognise the input and lived experiences of families will greatly support us to develop the most rounded and inclusive school that we wish to be.
Currently, we encourage feedback through surveys and open lines of communication, we share these priorities through coffee mornings and workshops and encourage ongoing feedback and suggestions. The slides from our most recent workshop entitled 'Let's Talk About Race' are at the bottom of this page.
Parent involvement matters! If you’re interested in helping to develop our representation of diversity further, please email in now at email@example.com or speak to Mrs Brittain or Mr Wells directly.
All of the children who attend Carlisle Infant School are taught our increasingly representative and diverse curriculum. We encourage children to share their thoughts and gather pupil voice from a selection of pupils from diverse backgrounds. We also gather thoughts for developing representation from the members of our School Council who are given training sessions on how to celebrate diversity in our school.
How are we representing diversity at Carlisle Infant School?
We recognise that learning about the achievements and experiences of significant individuals from the past and present can heavily influence our understanding of what we know and do today!
In all curriculum areas, we strive to include figures from many different backgrounds who have influenced the world in which we live, celebrating their contributions and recognising their influences.
Year 1’s engaging topic ‘Out of this World’ focusses on learning about space. This is one example of how we have developed and enhanced diversity in our curriculum.
As children, we may have learnt about the names and achievements of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong who landed on the moon in 1969. These people are significant, but we also need to celebrate the impact different females and people of colour had on such developments in space.
Our curriculum now includes learning about Mae Jemison (the first African American woman in space) and the achievements of the female African-American mathematician, Katherine Johnson who played a fundamental role in launching the first man into orbit.
We are dedicated to continuing to weave inspirational people into all areas of our curriculum. We are embedding this into our curriculum and our subject leads continue to research diverse figures who can be studied through curriculum objectives.
Stereotypes are generalizations about the personal attributes or characteristics of a group of people.
We are particularly conscious of gender stereotyping at Carlisle Infant School and having regular conversations that challenge early stereotypical attitudes about clothing, toys and interests that many might associate with either ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ at this young age.
We want to make sure that we continuously challenge these assumptions to broaden our children’s thinking!
Our teachers may use carefully chosen images, stories or activities throughout the curriculum to allow the chance to dispel stereotypes. They also allow children opportunities to give alternative ‘truths’. These are all based on what the teacher knows about their class and any stereotyping they may have picked up on.
We recognise that the children who come to Carlisle are surrounded by many images in their classrooms and those displayed in the school environment. We want every child to feel they, and their families, are represented and valued when they come through our gates.
Our teachers ensure that the visuals they choose are inclusive and diverse throughout the curriculum from specific topic studies which discuss stereotypes to the pictures we choose that go alongside our word problems in maths. It’s a simple thing but with mindful selection, our teachers are sharing that we are all different, but we all belong!
Varied visuals also give our children opportunities to raise and discuss ideas that are important to them. For example, when talking about families, visuals might be used to allow our children to see different family dynamics including single parent families, adoptive families, families who have grandparents as the head, same sex parents and families without children. This allows our children to explore the world and ask questions in a safe space. Images such as these are highlighted in our ‘Jigsaw’ PSHE Scheme of Learning but we aim to integrate such pictures in many other contexts throughout the school day so seeing these are no ‘novelty’, instead they become the norm.
It’s imperative that our Carlisle Infant School pupils get to ‘see themselves’ in books, both fiction and non-fiction and read texts that reflect the world in which we live.
We understand that children learn complex concepts from quality texts and so we often select stories or informative books to open up channels for discussion on topics that are raised or need addressing.
We are very fortunate to have a generous community of parents who often gift the school books from our Amazon Wishlist which we update to include recommended or topical books that often highlight characters from various backgrounds or groups so all our pupils can relate to and feel represented in the books on their classroom shelves.
We proudly teach children to be ‘allies’ at Carlisle Infant School and as part of this, we celebrate the diverse backgrounds, families and individuals we have in our community.
As a strong element of ‘being allies’ we support and learn about the work done by charities who stand up to prejudice and discrimination.
We have recognised that, as a school, we need to work harder at not only being ‘non-racist’ but ‘anti-racist’. We have developed an ‘Anti-Racism Policy’ and will proudly support the charity ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ on our Wear Red Day when children will further their understanding of racism and learning to be an ally for those experiencing racism.
"Let's Talk About Race" Parent workshop