Celebrating Diversity

What is Diversity?

The concept encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique and recognises our individual differences. This can include the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. In addition, socio-economic status and physical abilities.

Diversity is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Diversity in Britain

Britain has always been a diverse nation. Our diversity is as a result of invasion, expansion, Empire and Commonwealth, and being a safe haven for people fleeing danger. For over 2000 years people have arrived in Britain, contributing their own cultural influence.

For example, in:

  • 43-410AD: Romans invaded, bringing the first black people with them from North Africa. A few hundred years later they returned to Italy leaving those who wished to stay.
  • 1555-1833: African and Afro-Caribbean people arrived because of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade.
  • 1700 onwards: Indians and Chinese arrived because of Britain’s growing Empire and trade with far off countries.
  • 1840 Many people came to England to escape a terrible famine in Ireland.
  • 1946: After the Second World War many refugees came to Britain from Eastern Europe.
  • Today: Immigrants continue to arrive from the EU and around the world, adding to the diversity of our country.

Much of Britain’s diversity comes from the British Empire which, at its height, governed over one quarter of the world’s population (458 million people!). After the British Empire collapsed, people from the Commonwealth migrated to Britain and countries like the Caribbean and India were invited to help strengthen our workforce.

Today, people continue to move all around the world. The expansion of the European Union has seen a number of Europeans come to the UK in recent years. Our current population (over 60 million people!) includes a mix of people from difference racial, religious and cultural backgrounds. The 2001 Census showed that 7.9% of the population was from minority ethnic backgrounds.

What does the mix of culture bring to Britain?

Ethnic diversity has made our society rich in culture and contributed to our economic, social and democratic development. Everything in modern Britain from music and fashion to food and language has been influenced by different ethnic communities, cultures and social groups.

  • Foods – away from traditional British cuisine we enjoy foods from India, America, Italy, China and Japan (to name only a few)
  • Music & Dance – British music combines influences from all over the world with some of our most successful musicians coming from ethnic minority groups
  • Sports – sportsmen and women from ethnic minority groups have made huge contributions to Britain’s sporting success and achieved world class status. Think of the players that make up with England football team, Amir Khan (boxing) and Dame Kelly Holmes (athletics)
  • Fashion – young British people set worldwide fashion trends through combining a mix of ethnic styles

British Values

These are identified as:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Individual Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs

These are promoted through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) education which is embedded across the curriculum.

For more about British Values, click here.

LGBT+ or LGBTQAI?

You may be familiar with the acronym LGBT but more recently, to reflect the ever increasing diverse community, the term LGBT+ or LGBTQAI is used to include the community that identify with having a non-mainstream sexual or gender identity. Some say LGBT+ sounds a little dismissive of particular groups and so prefer the term LGBTQAI.

How do we define the LGBTQAI community?

LGBTQAI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Asexual, Intersex. It is becoming increasingly difficult to define but it is generally representative of and consists of those who do not identify as part of the mainstream straight or cisgender population. However, it’s possible for a person to be straight, cisgender but be asexual. Also, some gay and trans people do not identify themselves as part of the LGBTQAI community.

How do we celebrate diversity at Outwood Academy City?

  • Celebrating Diversity VMG Takeover Week will take place week commencing 1 July 2019 and include a variety of VMG activities and an assembly
  • British Values are embedded throughout the curriculum studied at all years and through Life, VMG and assembly activities
  • Life Lessons throughout the Life curriculum students cover diversity, racism, prejudice and discrimination, in addition to topical issues such as war, gangs, knife crime and radicalisation

Sources of Support

  • Friends and family
  • Learning Manager
  • Teachers

Use the links below to access external support. In addition, the academy has access to a wide range of support providers across Sheffield. More information can be found here. Please contact your child’s Learning Manager to discuss.