Inclusion and Diversity at Heath Lane Nursery
The continued, endemic injustices in the world that disadvantage people by race and ethnicity have gained international attention recently with widespread coverage through news broadcasts and social media. This has instigated global protests and provided a worldwide focus on bringing about change by promoting equality and diversity. This has given us at school the platform to review what we currently do to support inclusion and diversity, to reflect upon the impact current practice is having and to identify further actions to move forward in our relentless quest for a fairer world.
Our vision statement at Heath Lane is; ‘where every child can thrive!’ This vision permeates into all we do at school; our aim is that the carefully planned activities and the thoughtful experiences we provide will positively impact on how our children see themselves, each other and the world around them.
There are many ways in which we promote equality and diversity:
- We use books, equipment and learning resources that promote diversity, such as dolls from a range of ethnic groups, stories that challenge gender stereotypes, stories about children and families from all around the world, dressing up materials from a range of cultures and small world toys which reflect the diverse society that we live in.
- We use activities and games that teach children about people’s differences and celebrate them, for example songs from different languages or cultures, talking to children around circle times about people’s differences (such a family set-ups) and sharing ideas and objects that reflective of different cultures and backgrounds.
- We teach children about their own sense of self, and we strive for all children to feel happy and confident in their own skin, and to celebrate each other’s differences.
- We teach children about the importance of mutual respect for each other, being kind to others, and being positive members of society. This is done through teaching about turn taking, sharing ideas, voting for things in the nursery, and thinking about other people’s feelings and emotions. Empathy is a huge part of being non-discriminative in later life, so we try to imbed positive values around this from a young age.
- We provide staff training on challenging inequality and becoming more aware of subliminal messages in books, language we use and choices we make as well as the more explicit discrimination that staff are more familiar with.
- We plan to embed the celebration of different religious festivals into our curriculum in a meaningful and age-appropriate way (such as asking family members such as siblings to come and talk to the children about how they celebrate different events.)
- We plan to seize opportunities to ask parents to share their skill sets with us and share any passions and
- We plan to provide training to parents on challenging gender stereotyping
We are committed to promoting the message of equality for all people to the children who attend our nurseries, and we believe that by shaping children’s early experiences in life we are able to truly make a change for the future. We do not want to teach children ‘not to see difference’ but rather to see it and to embrace and celebrate it with each other. The reward will be a generation of children who will bring positive change to all our futures!