Diversity and Inclusion at Wycombe Abbey
10 March 2021 - Academic
Diversity focuses on understanding differences, what makes us unique and why this is important. At Wycombe Abbey, we are committed to creating a safe space for all those within our community. The School is keen to improve diversity, promote awareness and acceptance, and to foster an inclusive culture where both staff and pupils learn to appreciate the differences between race, religious and cultural beliefs, disability and sexual orientation.
The benefits of diversity can only be reaped once we acknowledge how important these differences are to a person’s identity. We believe that organisations who embrace diversity are better equipped for success. We also believe that our pupils should have their voices heard; especially when decisions are made concerning them and so the pupil Diversity and Inclusivity Committee was launched.
This term, the committee launched their own page on the Wycombe Abbey intranet which includes a recommended reading list, articles, suggestions and FAQs, and a fortnightly blog written in collaboration with other committees, such as the Indian Society, Neurodiversity Society, Identity Society, History Society, etc. The committee are also working on creating a logo, a statement of purpose and intent, exploring microaggressions, use of pronouns and creating a safe space for debate and discussions.
Below, Katie (UVI), tells us the purpose behind the D&I Blog:
This blog was set up by the Diversity and Inclusion committee during the Spring Term, 2021, as a way to educate people through interesting articles about important topics. It enables pupils to research deeper into their interests and passions and share these with others, creating an organic and collaborative way of learning. We view this communal learning as a really important aspect of increasing diversity and inclusion at School as it allows us to grow and learn from one another. It not only helps to inform pupils about important topics but also promotes knowledge-sharing between pupils, and hopefully opening up constructive and non-judgmental dialogue.
Articles for the blog are not solely written by the D&I committee but include submissions from the Heads of many different societies at Wycombe Abbey who want to share their knowledge and help the School become more aware and educated.
The blog is bi-weekly with pupils and staff and there are constantly new submissions in the works. Some exciting articles that will be included are: diversity in fashion, diversity in music and film, the recent portray of an autistic individual in the film Music from the Neurodiversity Society and an educational article about LGBTQIA+ issues from the Identity Society. Pupils and Staff can comment at the bottom of the blog to share their thoughts and we hope this will encourage discussions rooting from these articles throughout the School.
The School also has a Staff D&I committee and they have been busy planning how the staff body can create a diverse and inclusive atmosphere at School. They have been looking into:
- Use of School language and agreeing on inclusive terminology.
- Stereotypes: Racial, gender, cultural, and other (Goth, etc) profiling. Raising awareness, using examples, what to do?
- Identity Protocol: Preparing the School to have measures in place – to be proactive and prepare for the future.
Ms Avani Hurribunce
Head of Fifth Form; Lead Teacher: D&I