The VLT Equalities Week 2024

From Monday 19th February, schools across the Vanguard Learning Trust took part in our second Trust-wide Equalities week. Equalities week, which focuses on celebrating the diverse cultures, backgrounds and identities of our school community, is an important feature of our school calendar - and this year was no exception!

At Ruislip High School, the week saw students taking part in a range of activities and talks relevant to the week. Year 9 students had the chance to take part in a cultural cooking workshop, learning how to make a couscous salad. During the sessions, mostly led by Ms Poddar, the students gained new cooking skills, inspiring them to try a new dish at home. Max, Year 9, commented: “I really enjoyed taking part in the cooking workshop and I really enjoyed learning to make something new.”

Year 7s took part in a Gamelan music workshop, led by the music department, and got to listen to a talk on LGBTQ+ issues, led by the charity Brook. Year 8 students took part in an Indian classical dance workshop run by the SBDC dance company. The workshop began by teaching all students basic skills and built up to groups learning a complete dance routine by the end of the session. The students had lots of fun learning this new skill and took part in the workshop enthusiastically. 

Finally, one of the most exciting moments of the week took place on Wednesday 21st February, where Ruislip High School celebrated its first ever whole-school ‘Cultural Day’. On this day, staff and students dressed up in their cultural clothes, if they so wished. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout the day, with students wearing clothing representing their cultural heritage with pride and all showing respect to one another and taking an interest in everyone’s culture. Sara, Year 11, said: “Getting to share my culture at school through wearing a traditional sari was fantastic. Lots of people in my year group got involved and there was a really celebratory atmosphere.”

Overall, Equalities Week highlighted that although, in the words of one of the week’s speakers, our students have ‘power in their uniqueness’, we also have strength together as a community. It was a joy to celebrate what makes us individuals during the week, as sharing that understanding can only bring us closer together.