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Devonport High School for Girls

LGBT+ awareness at DHSG: The Rainbow Flag award, Pride month and beyond

Since January 2022, staff and students at DHSG have been working towards the Rainbow Flag Award, a national accreditation, recognising the work schools do to improve LGBT+ inclusion and visibility. We have already completed the first 3 sections of this, and we are on track to achieve the full award by Spring 2023.

One of our most popular changes, has been our LGBT+ club, Dorothy's Friends. This is a club that runs every Wednesday lunchtime and is a chance for LGBT+ students and allies to meet and discuss LGBT+ issues. Since Dorothy's Friends and our June Pride month celebrations have been largely driven by the students, here is a report from Ella, one of our 6th form students, to summarise some of our achievements so far.

Summary of achievements written by sixth form student - Ella
 

Since the start of Dorothy’s Friends in February, many LGBT+ young people have found a safe place where they can authentically be themselves. Dorothy’s Friends is dedicated to educating both our group and allies, including a presentation of the history of laws surrounding LGBT+ rights as part of the tutor programme. Within the group we have had presentations about gender identities and bi-erasure (the tendency to ignore bisexual people to the point where it is harmful to the community) within the LGBT+ community, as well as a brief history of Pride. It also prioritises being a support system for students who need it, as everyone is welcome regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

To start our June Pride celebrations, we contacted our local MP, Luke Pollard, who came to visit the school and was very engaging with all the questions that the group had about LGBT+ issues within politics and inspired many students to get involved more with their local politics and stand up for what they believe in. We also often have representatives from Intercom Trust join our Dorothy's Friends sessions to help guide us through as we evolve and develop our group.

Throughout Pride month we have been celebrating LGBT+ history around the school, with subject posters with information about LGBT+ icons in that area, a pride flag outside the main entrance, and a board outside the staff room displaying LGBT+ art and flags, which was created by one of our year 11 students. The biggest of our Pride events was a Pride fair, which raised £220 for the charities Stonewall and Intercom. This fair was organised by students across the years, with bake sales, a raffle, a face paint stall, pronoun/flag badges on sale, and a drag show involving many students and teachers. This fair was an opportunity to celebrate Pride and incorporated many aspects of the community, some of which are often overlooked such as the significance of Drag and its contribution to the progress of the LGBT+ community.

Dorothy’s Friends has helped students of all ages feel comfortable in their own skin, in the company of welcoming students who want to embrace their identity in an area free of judgement and fear.

Ella S, year 12

Students at DHSG learn about LGBT+ people and topics through our comprehensive PSHE tutor programme as well as through the wider curriculum. Below are some of the lessons delivered in KS3 and KS4 tutor lessons, as well as the 2022 Pride month lesson, so you can see how the students learn about LGBT+ lives and experiences.

For further support, information and guidance:
If you or your child would like extra information or support, you may find the following links useful.

Intercomtrust

Mermaidsuk

Switchboard

We would also like to introduce the first edition our Yellow Brick Blog (below). This is a termly newsletter, written by students and includes information and opinion pieces on LGBT+ issues and topics.