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Chestnut Grove Academy: Addressing Equality Through Debate

Chestnut Grove Academy: Addressing Equality Through Debate

2019-04-23 
| by Editor | Posted in Balham News

Balham’s Chestnut Grove Academy is to hold a series of equality debates.

In the first of these debates, key influential female figures from across many sectors will take questions from year 9 students regarding feminism and why is it needed today. On the 1st May, students will be joined by MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, renowned medical engineer Lih-Ling HigheGina Abolins, a MeToo campaigner within the theatre, and women’s rights advocates Akhera Williams and Rachel Krys.

Chestnut Grove Academy has long celebrated and embraced its diverse community, and equality is mapped across the curriculum through case studies such as designing and making resources to help refugees in Design Technology to studying prose about race and feminism in English Literature.  The school’s annual Equality Debates further encourage discussions, community spirit and activism, and as a result Chestnut Grove has already achieved a DfE Award in Equality.

The programme of debates this year will include Faith, LGBT and Race, Ethnicity and Immigration and will engage students from Years 7 to 10 in researching the subjects, preparing questions and debating the relevant topics.

Jo Taylor: Head of Department, Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics (PBE) explains ‘These events are organised by students themselves who are active within our thriving Equality Club.  The enrichment that these events provide is undoubtedly of utmost importance; not least because it illustrates that it is possible to overcome diversity and to be successful in whatever career they choose no matter who they are.’

The success of these events is now being recognised across academic institutions and many other schools are seeking to implement similar programmes.  As a result external funding is being sought to enable the programme of these debates, and related community events, to take place in future academic years at Chestnut Grove Academy, and to provide support to other schools in setting these events up.

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