On Friday, 3rd December Year 12 students in BSB Nexus, the Pre-University campus of The British School of Barcelona, had a talk and interactive session focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Gaia Nubia Lambert, DEI Officer at the British Council in Barcelona. A trained former SEN teacher, Gaia is now responsible for equality and diversity policy and implementation in her role in the British Council’s education team. After doing an activity in groups to highlight the propensity we have to group ourselves together by similarities, students and tutors received a presentation on the current status of DEI work in organizations such as the British Council and commented further around the context of diversity and equity as key competencies in the working world.
Futures Lead, Kyra Kellawan, commented that ‘Having Gaia present from a current work perspective was so helpful, and really helped to show the students the importance of the protected characteristics for diversity, as well as the impact that has on UK law, as well as explaining why knowledge, recognition and celebration of these is not only necessary, but crucial for high-performing teams and success in the workplace.’
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ)
Gaia’s talk was the closing activity to a full-week programme of work focused on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) which took place at the end of October. The week started off with an implicit bias test, where students were asked to look at career and gender bias first, but then they could choose any from a larger list – religious bias, sexual orientation, weight, skin colour, etc.
The overall aim of this DEIJ week was for students to learn and have discussions about stereotypes, prejudices, and microaggressions, along with some real-life scenarios, so that they begin to realise that we all carry bias, whether we are aware of it or not, and that even if we do not feel racist, sexist, ageist, etc., bias creeps into our lives in many ways. The idea is that they become curious about where our biases lie and then become more aware of what that means in the world of work and career, as well as our social relationships across our lives. In this process they were also given concrete resources to counter bias and engage in intersectional tolerance and understanding.
An inclusive curriculum
‘The school actively promotes diversity and harmony in their community, from Nursery to Pre-University.’ (BSO Inspection 2021)
One of BSB’s Educational Aims is Global: ‘We are global citizens, embracing difference, cared for and caring, and principled in our beliefs.’ As a diverse learning community, our curriculum across the school is inclusive and especially modified to develop global perspectives, openness and tolerance. This is especially apparent through our comprehensive programme of diversity-conscious Celebration days (covering a range of religious, cultural and gender awareness themes), our PSHE curriculum, the Prevent programme and weekly assemblies.
Our DEIJ week is an opportunity to drip-feed these values into our curriculum across the term and the year.