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Rainbow Ambassador Training

The Diana Award is a charity that was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales and her belief that young people have the power to change the world. One branch of this charity is to deliver anti-bullying training in schools and last week Wilson's School took part in one of their brand new programmes. Funded by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) it aims to promote LGBT+ inclusion and tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviours.

On Tuesday two staff members travelled to a session attended by teachers from other schools in different boroughs. It was interesting to hear the experiences from other schools, share our knowledge and also learn about what more we could be doing at Wilson's. As part of the charity's programme they run sessions in schools with students to help them become anti-bullying ambassadors. Therefore on Thursday, a team of three trainers from the Diana Award; Josh, Charlton and Paul, came into school to train 24 students from Years 7-12 who had volunteered to become Rainbow Ambassadors.

Much of the training was the same; learning terminology, thinking about what constitutes bullying behaviour; considering how to tackle it, learning about the effect of bystanders and also deciding what would make a perfectly inclusive school. Yet the opinion of the students was invaluable to our understanding of their school experience. It is easy to be complacent; Wilson's' involvement in The London Pride March for the last three years, the existence of our Pride Club and our participation in schemes such as Rainbow Laces can show that we are inclusive. While we are rightfully proud of all these things, the training was a reminder that intolerance still exists and we should never stop striving to make the school, and indeed our communities, more inclusive and welcoming.

The 24 Rainbow Ambassadors can now pass on their new knowledge to their peers and hopefully feel more confident calling out HBT language and bullying. They will continue to help us shape the way Wilson's addresses bullying behaviour in general and it has been wonderful to see them proudly wearing their new badges around school, demonstrating their eagerness to help make the school an even kinder place. Miss Roberts, Mr Sturt and Mr Lynch were also involved on Thursday and so I extend my great thanks to them alongside Mrs Straw.

On the day the students were everything we would expect from Wilson's students; eager, engaged, respectful and really good company! The trainers all remarked on how impressed they were with them. Two students from different Key Stages have asked to share their experience of the training, and it gives me pleasure to be able to present both of their opinions.

Article by Miss Banner, Wellbeing Lead

Vivaan in Year 7

On 23 January, some of us received Rainbow ambassador training to become anti-bullying ambassadors for our school. They especially focused on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying – the first thing they learnt about was LGBTQ+ terms and how to support people who are facing bullying. The anti-bullying ambassadors finally discussed how they could make Wilson's 'an even more' PRIDE-friendly place. Remember: if you ever face any type of bullying, the anti-bullying ambassadors are here to help.

Daniel in Year 11

During the day, amidst fun games and engaging demonstrations, we were educated on key terms to do with the LGBTQ+ community, the key types of bullying (physical, verbal and indirect) and how to deal with HBT (homophobic, biphobic and transphobic) bullying. The most interesting issue we discussed today – in my opinion – is how sensitive dealing with LGBTQ+ bullying has to be: as anti-HBT ambassadors, we may receive questions about how to come out safely, so we need to be careful of the fact that we have to respect the privacy of the students involved and be respectful of the worries of the pupil. Most importantly, the speakers from the Diana Award gave us their personal experiences of discrimination as well as stories from other schools, reminding us how lucky we are to be in a school where LGBTQ+ students are treated well and welcomed with the measures we have in place already like Pride Club and Stonewall posters.

Like any community we aren't perfect and there are still some changes we could make to ensure that the school is as happy a place space for LGBTQ+ students as it can be. Therefore, we anti-HBT ambassadors will continue to meet and discuss how we can change the school for the better.


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