How to celebrate School Diversity Week
School Diversity Week is a huge celebration of LGBT+ inclusion that takes place every June, opening up much-needed conversations about acceptance. Thousands of primary and secondary schools across the UK are signed up to take part and it’s run by Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity. This year, School Diversity Week takes place on 20-24 June, and there are more free educational resources available than ever before.
Free, ready-to-go resources
Just Like Us runs School Diversity Week and provides all the resources you might ever need for free – just sign up. Primary and secondary school staff in the UK can sign up to take part and get access to a range of educational resources for EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4.
Resources include ready-to-go lesson plans for key curriculum subjects, assemblies, form time activities, quizzes, video resources and more. For example, your School Diversity Week could begin with an assembly or LGBT+ 101 form time activity and then include a geography lesson with LGBT+ inclusive case studies, a fundraiser with Rainbow Ribbons and a PSHE session.
There’s no one way to celebrate School Diversity Week – you can make it your own and make it relevant to your students. Every resource has been made by teachers, for teachers. So, there’s no extra preparation needed to make your school LGBT+ inclusive!
School Diversity Week in primary
In primary schools, the focus is on kindness, respecting difference, and diverse families. If you have teachers who are less confident, maybe start with our storytime series and use the reading guides to have a short discussion, or simply deliver an assembly and a PSHE lesson for each year group. Or, if you are a class teacher, you could run as many of the lessons as you like!
You can celebrate School Diversity Week across your whole school by incorporating our lessons across the curriculum, watching all of our storytime series, engaging in discussions about what you’ve read, and even planning writing units based on these stories.
This year, we have a new storytime series for EYFS to KS2 with videos of children’s book authors reading from their LGBT+ inclusive books. The series includes award-winning author Harry Woodgate, Jodie-Lancet Grant, and Benjamin Dean, as well as discussion prompts and writing activities that you can use with your class.
School Diversity Week in secondary
Increasingly, secondary schools are telling us that they want to move beyond standalone sessions and smaller LGBT+ lessons, so have a look at the secondary resources to explore how you could broaden you and your school’s engagement with LGBT+ education.
This year we have a range of resources for pastoral and PSHE education available to help teachers make the most of those timetabled sessions and get the most impact out of discussions with pupils.
You could also book a Just Like Us speaker to visit your school virtually or in-person (depending on location) who can really engage and inspire your students to become better allies.
Quick and easy wins
Run a form time activity in School Diversity Week using our LGBT+ 101 Slides to get conversations started about how your school is an accepting and LGBT+ inclusive place.
Rainbow Ribbons are also a quick and easy way to get pupils engaged – they’re always very popular, especially in secondary schools!
Really stuck for time? Download our posters with positive messaging about diverse families and LGBT+ icons. Seeing something visible in your school environment will make a huge difference to LGBT+ students feeling safe and included.
Want to do more?
Going beyond School Diversity Week and making LGBT+ inclusion a year-round journey is the best way to support your LGBT+ young people, or students who may have LGBT+ families. You can do this by setting up a Pride Group.
Pride Groups are lunchtime or after school clubs for LGBT+ and ally students in school. They’re pupil-led (we provide Student Leader training) and provide a space for worried and lonely students to go when in need of support. The purpose is to create a space where students can be themselves, learn, socialise and get support. For many pupils, it’s a huge relief to have this space away from an unaccepting home or the usual school environment.
Just Like Us provides the training for staff, fortnightly resources and training for Student Leaders too, for £99 a year.
The difference you’ll be making this School Diversity Week
LGBT+ students are twice as likely to be bullied, feel lonely, have depression, and face tension at home. They’re also far less likely to feel safe at school, independent research has found.
Representation and visibility of LGBT+ lives and stories in school is repeatedly stated by LGBT+ students to be incredibly important to their own feelings of safety and enjoyment of education. Even the smallest changes, such as putting up flags in your classroom, or changing a case study in a lesson here or there, can have profound impacts on your school environment over time.
However, you celebrate this School Diversity Week, we hope you have a fantastic time – and thank you for supporting LGBT+ young people.