I was approached at the beginning of the term by a child in Year 4 asking if he could present an assembly on being different. It is not a rare occurrence that children want to discuss ideas they have but usually they come in groups and it is often about fund raising ideas. This is wonderful not only because of the nature of the requests but also the fact that children feel confident enough to come and openly discuss ideas that they have. This request, however, was different. The boy wanted to share something quite personal about the way he was feeling and raise awareness of the fact that children are often struggling with different emotions, conditions and frustrations at school and that as a school we need to be aware of our own impact on everybody else. There was no accusation in what he wanted to present he just wanted to give other’s the confidence to be themselves and embrace the diversity we have across the school.
During the OFSTED inspection 2016 one child commented that “this school is safe if you are different”. It is one of the statements in the inspection report of which I am most proud. I believe as a Headteacher that school should be about empowering children to be confident in themselves; their similarities and differences, to stand up for the right of everyone to be individual.
Callum’s presentation held every child’s attention. He went from a general statement about difference to personal experience to how to help yourself and others. He was highly confident despite the personal content and spoke with utter sincerity. He reminded us why we hold the values we do as a school and that education is not just about English and Maths but about how we ensure that children are learning tolerance, acceptance and the value of diversity within society.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Callum for his bravery to present on his own in front of the whole and for giving such a clear message. Callum’s presentation is attached below, please have a read.