Anti-Racism Action Group (ARAG)
The work of the ARAG over this school year has been significant. Much of the work that has been done may not be immediately obvious, but it is this ‘behind the scenes’ work that ensures strong foundations in our work as an anti-racist school and in achieving our aim to ‘bring our community together’.
All the work we completed last year through our focus group audits has come together to form an Action Plan which has become the central structure of our work moving forward. Some of the key areas from the action plan that we have been focusing on this year have been: addressing racist incidents, responding to student voice; and understanding Racial Literacy.
Addressing racist incidents
Our pastoral team has worked hard to review and amend systems that were in place to address racist incidents. This review has led to new systems of logging and responding to incidents in order to create more clarity and transparency. We will continue our work in this area over the next school year.
The Student Anti-Racism Action Group (SARAG) was formed in January this year. The group is made up of students who expressed a desire to be a part of a student group. We have met each half term to discuss not only issues the students wanted to raise, but also ideas and initiatives that the student group felt would help ‘to bring our community together’.
Student Anti-Racism Action Group (SARAG)
In the relatively short time since its formation, the SARAG has made a numberof positive steps forward in achieving our aim. The group has had many discussions about how we can make Warlingham an Anti-Racist school. They have had lots of ideas and are starting to put some of those ideas into action now. The group has delivered assemblies and launched its first House Competition. In addition, thanks to the work of the SARAG, we now have Worry/Suggestion boxes in both reception and the LRC whereby students can voice their worries or concerns; a place where they can tell us about an incident, and a place where they can make suggestions for how we might improve or continue our work with the SARAG or the ARAG. We hope that this initiative will help students to feel safe and to feel like their voice is heard.
Another initiative of the SARAG has been to create a ‘Safe-Space’ for students who would like to talk or discuss matters linked to racism. We have a group of students from the SARAG who are undergoing safeguarding training and who will, upon completion of this training, become peer mentors.
Racial Literacy and The Prosperity Project
In order to build upon the staff training in Racial Literacy that took place earlier in the year, we are very excited to have started working with an organisation called ‘The Prosperity Project’. The Prosperity Project is an organisation that offers a full wraparound service of long-term support for schools in their design and implantation of anti-racist policy, as well as providing training to increase the racial literacy of staff.
Our work with The Prosperity Project (TPP) has already begun; we have had several meetings with the team and the diagnostic phase of their programme is well underway. We look forward to our first training session which will take place on the INSET day on Friday 1st July. To find out more about the work of TPP, please follow this link here.
The writer and activist James Baldwin said that “not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” and this is something from which we take inspiration as we reflect on the positive steps we have made in our progress to become an anti-racist school.
Charlotte Christie & Blake Valentine