To honour and celebrate PRIDE, Framlingham College hosted a week of special events dedicated to all things LGBTQAI+, from guest speakers to parent workshops and a special podcast episode.

The events, which took place throughout the school from June 17 – 21, were driven by pupils and Psychology Teacher Wayne Rogers to showcase acceptance, help everyone understand different perspectives, listen to people’s experiences, and ask questions in an open and judgment free environment.

“Celebrating and recognizing PRIDE at the College is crucial because it fosters an inclusive and supportive environment where all pupils feel valued and respected, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity”, explains Mr Rogers. “It showcases our incredible commitment to diversity, equality, and creating a safe space for pupils to express their true selves without fear of judgment or discrimination. It also allows us all to acknowledge the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQIA community, promoting awareness and understanding amongst the broader pupil body.”

Starting the week with a parent’s perspective workshop, parents were invited to share their experiences of LGBTQAI+ issues from a parent’s point of view and offer advice on supporting a child when coming out.

During our chapel service on Tuesday, we welcomed Rev. Chris Davey from St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, to talk about how religion and PRIDE can co-exist.

On Wednesday, the amazing team from The Youth Outreach offered drop-in sessions for our pupils and the school community to talk about all things PRIDE and LGBTQAI+ issues, from terminology, to supporting friends, asking questions or simply having a conversation without fear of judgment or discrimination.

We launched a special PRIDE podcast on Thursday with guests from The Youth Outreach giving their experiences of support for the LGBTQAI+ community and talking about allyship. The podcast was used as an educational tool for our pupils during tutor periods, to raise awareness and spark engaging conversation around LGBTQAI+ issues. You can listen to the podcast here.

Rounding off the week, Mr Rogers, addressed pupils and the school community in a special Friday chapel service.

Mr Rogers said: “I was inspired to share my story because I understand the profound impact that personal experiences can have in fostering empathy and understanding. My own journey, with its challenges and triumphs, highlights the reality that many LGBTQIA individuals face.

“By sharing my story, I hope to humanise these experiences, making them more relatable and real to the pupils. I aim to encourage those who may be struggling with their identity to feel less alone and to empower all pupils to stand up for what is right. By hearing my story, I hope pupils will feel inspired to be allies and advocates, recognising that their actions can make a significant difference in creating an inclusive environment.”

“I hope that pupils and the College community will take away a deeper understanding and empathy towards the LGBTQIA community, learning from the different perspectives expressed across the week. I want our pupils to recognise the importance of standing up against discrimination, and to appreciate the strength and resilience of those who have had to overcome significant obstacles just to be themselves. I hope they learn that questioning one’s identity is a healthy and necessary part of personal growth and that they feel empowered to support their peers as allies. Ultimately, I want them to see the value in diversity and inclusivity and to be inspired to create a more accepting and compassionate community as who knows who may need your support in the future; your brother, sister, cousin or your best friend.”

Looking ahead to the next academic year, LGBTQIA+ inclusion remains a priority, with our LGBTQIA+ club driving conversation to foster an inclusive and supportive environment for all pupils, welcoming guest speakers to raise awareness of PRIDE campaigns throughout the year.

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