St Joseph’s Primary School, Camden

St Josephs Catholic Primary School Camden

St Joseph’s Primary School, Camden

Racial Justice, Equality and Diversity: Practice in Schools


What have we done:

The children focused on Equality Studies at St. Joseph’s. The children had a fantastic time learning about many of the important issues surrounding Racial and Gender Equality, Social Justice (including votes for women and the Suffragette movement) and British Values. Equality Studies is about getting the children to think and talk about these issues and about inspirational people who ‘Shine in the World, including Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzal, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Nelson Mandela.

Year 6 have been learning about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. They learnt about the main events of Mandela’s life and why he was inspirational in working for equality and unity, whilst reflecting on his key qualities. They identified the teachings in the Bible about equality and were able to explain tolerance, determination, peace and forgiveness in relation to Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ.

Year 5 have been learning about Emmeline Pankhurst. They developed an understanding of how voting works and that sometimes you might not get your way. They also learnt about protests and that you may have to fight to get what is right. Year 5 found out that Emmeline Pankhurst demanded equality for women, by persuading the government to allow women to vote. They also produced some outstanding biographies about Emmeline’s life.

Year 4 have been learning about the social activist Martin Luther King, who tirelessly fought and campaigned for equal rights. They used his example as one where they too can, ‘Shine in the World’, linking his determination, bravery and courage to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. The children looked at themselves, and society, reflecting on how God created us all in His image and loves everyone equally. The children wrote their own, ‘I have a dream’ speech, based on the inspirational example presented in 1963 by Martin Luther King.

Year 3 have been learning about gender equality. They focused on the life and contributions of Malala Yousafzay. They discussed gender inequality in her life and how she was treated unfairly because she was a girl. Children discussed how they are all different, but all equally valuable in the world, no matter if they are a boy or girl. They discovered the similarities and differences between our school and a school in Islamabad. They also made links between Malala’s values for forgiveness and those of Jesus.

Year 2 have been learning about the life of Rosa Parks. Rosa fought for the rights of black people in America, refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man and arguing for equality. Her actions, as well as the actions of many others, led to changed laws and more equal treatment of black people in America.

Year 1 were given mirrors to study their facial features. They discussed with their partner their different eye colours, hair colours and skin colours in class. They spoke about how unique they are and that everyone looks different. Using this information, they created self-portraits of themselves. Afterwards they celebrated their differences by talking about the unique features each child has.

Reception started to understand ‘fair’ and ‘unfair’. The teacher created a barrier across the classroom and would only allow certain children through to the other side, where there were new toys to choose from. The girls soon realised that the teacher was only letting the boys go through. The girls thought this was very unfair! The children were then given a box of toys to sort, using two labels – ‘toys for boys’ and ‘toys for girls’. As the children were sorting, they found they played with the same toys. The children decided that toys can be for everyone because they have the choice to play with whatever they want to. The children decided to tear up the labels and use a different one, ‘toys for everyone’.

In Nursery we made our own self-portraits and talked about our similarities and differences. We also enjoyed listening to the story of Elmer and making our own different patterned elephants.
Valuable learning from this process: We noticed that when we adapted the curriculum and made it more diverse, our pupils can relate to it more. They have greater relevance and enjoyment and can identify with the authors.
Our next steps:


Continue to make the curriculum diverse and reflect our school community. Celebrate this learning with the wider community.


Useful links/resources: