Celebrating diversity

Ormiston Denes Academy

Over the last two years Hannah Morris, Skills for Learning Co-ordinator at Ormiston Denes Academy, has facilitated the academy’s fortnightly Enrichment sessions which have evolved from a peer mentoring project, to a peer support project, to finally a targeted LGBTQ+ support group, through the needs and issues faced by the group members.

As the project progressed, students were keen to create a ‘Pride’ event, such as they have in the big cities. Students were supported to plan and coordinate all the details of the event, which involved an overall aim, objectives, even management and evaluation.

Promotion of the event was paramount and the students created a scheme of work entitled ‘Respect’ for the Skills for Learning sessions in the weeks running up to the event, and these plus assemblies helped to address any questions students, or staff that arose.

This event was funded through the academy’s enrichment budget and was planned, supported and delivered by Hannah Morris, external providers, and the 10 students who planned and delivered the ODA Pride event which was attended by over 600 students.

The event was a fantastic success and Hannah Morris, Ormiston Denes Academy said: “It was a pleasure to see students relaxing and engaging in a celebratory environment that was inclusive to a significant number of our young people. Students who performed were encouraged and gained experience of performing to a large audience and students who identify with LGBTQ+ were pleased and proud to have such an amazing, inclusive response from the academy. This event is vital to our community’s self-esteem and inclusive nature, so will definitely become a regular fixture in our annual celebrations and hopefully grow bigger by the year.”