On Tuesday 2nd May Sheffield High School welcomed pupils and teachers from a range of schools in the North of England to a training day aimed at raising awareness in pupils and staff of issues facing trans-gender people in our society.
The day was organised by Mrs Gina Heaton – Head of PHSE and Year 7/8 Pastoral Leader at Sheffield Girls’. The delegates listened to a young trans person from the group Gendered Intelligence talk about their experiences. They were then engaged interactively in workshops, scenario discussions and finally a plenary session about resources, opportunities and how to best share their knowledge with the school and wider community.
Sheffield Girls’ School was pleased to pioneer such a day as one of the schools aims is to educate girls to be open–minded and contribute positively to their communities.
Feedback from some of the schools PHSE committee members and Peer Educators reflected on the good practice shared on Tuesday
Today was a huge eye opener to persisting issues regarding gender and sexuality. We learned about personal experiences from Finn which gave us a deeper perspective into being a trans person in 2017; we as a group and as individuals feel inspired by Finn's confidence and the kind way in which he addresses issues and taught us all of the different terms to do with gender and sexuality. We found these terms very useful and we feel much more comfortable using the terms and feel more familiar with gender and the issues surrounding it. From this we agree that teens and kids need to be taught this from a much younger age so that the language does not become taboo, we believe that this could prevent bullying and alienation of the LGBTQ community. We promise to integrate the knowledge we have gained into our everyday lives to educate other people too!
Peer Educator/Deputy Head Girl
I found the day extremely interesting and eye opening as it has given me a whole new perspective on the concepts of gender and different gender identities. I feel that the session has really made me understand the thoughts and feelings of members of the LGBTQ society much more and I believe this will help me to provide more empathy and support to these people. I really enjoyed the various activities and the challenging questions we were faced with as this really stretched my previously quite narrow-minded view point. The fact we learned the real definitions of the different genders and sexualities means I feel I can now make more educated opinions on these different topics.
Finn really opened my eyes to the many problems that trans people face in everyday society and it was extremely interesting to actually see how many stereotypes are inbuilt in us from such a young age. I think that many of the activities could easily be mirrored in PSHE lessons, but following the session I believe this should be introduced at a much earlier stage in secondary school to provide as much knowledge and support as possible.
I am very excited to act as an ambassador with the Peer Educators to stop prejudice and stereotypes within the school (and hopefully this can spread to the wider community)
Wellbeing, Citizenship and Contribution to the society in which we live are integral to all activities at Sheffield Girls’. These are addressed through a thought provoking and meticulously planned and continually refined PHSE programme, through the schools’ numerous Outreach projects within the City and also the 10 core values Courage, Positivity, Creativity, Loyalty, Co-operation, Respect, Kindness, Resilience and Integrity which run through the heart of the school.