Anti-racism at The Holmewood School London

 

We are listening

We are learning

We are acting

Because black lives do matter

 

We are aware of the intense reflection and discussion that has been going on across the world over the past few months following the death of George Floyd and the response from Black Lives Matter and other anti-racist movements, and specifically how individuals and institutions can play a positive role going forward. It is a real travesty that it takes a tragedy like this to help trigger change. But, as those communities that have suffered racism over decades and even centuries know, this is all-too-often the case.

We each have a responsibility to speak out, to send an unequivocal message that racism is never to be tolerated, that ignorance and prejudice are never acceptable. The Holmewood School does not and will not tolerate racism and injustice, and we greatly value the indispensable role our schools can and do play in dismantling systemic racism.

We wish to stress our commitment to listen to our communities and to work and consult to drive change. We want to equip our students to understand and combat racism. We will be engaging further with staff and students during the 2020-2021 academic year to see how we can continue to shape and promote this agenda beyond our schools and to the decision-makers who now must respond.

We are proud to work in a strong and diverse community.  We welcome and enjoy learning from living and working with people from all over the world.  Every day, we encourage our students to strive to do better and to be better.  We take pride in modelling this ourselves and are open to change and new initiatives.  Together with families, we have raised our students to be welcoming and accepting of all diversity.  As such, our young people are some of the most wonderfully open and inclusive people I know.  Discriminatory behaviour or bias in any and every form of expression has no place at our school.  We believe all people are equal and no one person is any better than any other.  

We believe that It is not enough to say ‘I’m not racist’ and then continue to act like there is nothing wrong.  To become anti-racist we must educate ourselves and confront societal issues on a daily basis. 

If you’re looking for a way to support the anti-racism movement then donating to and amplifying the voices of official charities and organisations is a great place to start.  For some ideas try:

 

Equally, if you’re looking for some advice in how to support and talk to young autistic people, you may find the following helpful:  

 

  • Work with your child’s school to advocate for and teach them about the values of kindness, equality and compassion.

  • Let your child's age and level of development guide you.

  • Remember that your child may pick up on fear, urgency, or anger in people’s voices and behaviours so make sure you are ready to engage in these difficult conversations.

  • While helpful for all races, it's especially important for white children to see brown and black children in a positive light to fight systemic racism.  Books that profile multi-racial characters are an excellent way to do this so source some for your home reading.

  • If younger children ask questions about skin tone, acknowledge this.  You might say, “Isn’t it wonderful that we are all so different”.  Aim to celebrate and enjoy these differences.

  • If your child has been exposed to information about recent distressing events, ask them what they know and what they’ve seen.  Ask them how they are feeling about it and validate those feelings.  Let them know how you will keep them safe whilst challenging racism and violence.

  • Try limit the exposure children they have to disturbing images in the media.  This is particularly important if you have younger children.  With older students, do not shield them entirely, but engage them in conversations about racism.

  • If you have young children use questions such as:

  • How do you think those people were feeling?

  • Do you know why they were angry?

  • What do you do when you feel like something is unfair?

  • Older children may be involved in online activism.  Please know that for teens this can be a coping mechanism and may give comfort when they feel pretty helpless. Reposting, retweeting, expressing how they're feeling, chatting with friends can be helpful.  It can also help to educate those who are not from a minority background.  

  • If you have older children you may want to ask them what they think about what they have seen or read, and what about it was upsetting or inspiring.

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The Holmewood School is a trading name of Cavendish Learning (London) Ltd, registered in England and Wales. No 09622592. Registered Office 14 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AR. www.cavendisheducation.com

Copyright ©2020 Cavendish Education Ltd

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