I have had the absolute pleasure of being part of the team which co-ordinated Love and Tolerance Week at Lea Manor High School this year, and what a week it has been!
When we first proposed the idea to our staff, I have to say there were a few interesting faces pulled around the room, ranging from a firm ‘Yay!’ to the panic-stricken, ‘How on earth are we going to do this?’ but, as always, the dedicated and resilient team here at LMHS put their thinking caps on to look at how they could incorporate this theme into their lessons and activities. The creativity and dedication to this project has simply blown me away.
I have had the privilege to witness some fabulous lessons across the school which have enabled our students to take the theme on board and really challenge themselves to put love and tolerance into practice in our school and in their everyday lives.
The English Dept have been looking at Human Rights and how people's human rights are often impinged by others. Through looking at the inspirational story of Malala Yousafzai and issues surrounding transgender and forms of racism, students have been addressing intolerances that are widely held in society and how to challenge them. They have been looking at leadership qualities and how good leadership eradicates a lot of the problems in society.
The Maths Department have been exploring reasons why people love and tolerate Maths and how maths skills are fundamental in everyday life for everyone to succeed and go through life in a productive manner.
AIDS has been the focus of the lessons in the Science department. Using an episode of a popular television programme, Greys Anatomy, the students have had the chance to explore prejudices towards homosexuality and AIDS sufferers, but also race and gender discrimination in a hospital environment through the characters portrayed in the show.
Philosophy and Ethics have been exploring the 5 love languages, analysing how people can be loved in different ways and sharing words of affirmation and praise with each other. It has been a very powerful experience for some of our students, one of which said ‘This is so nice-I never knew people thought so many nice things about me!’
ICT have been exploring the power of positivity and looking into the social media world and how, if used correctly, it can be a very useful tool for change in a good way. Health and Social Care explored the many different issues surrounding love and tolerance in the healthcare professions and day to day family life, looking for solutions with positive outcomes.
Art and Design Technology have been so creative over the week, from Love cakes in the Food Technology rooms and making hearts in DT to different projects in Art, which included drawing faces and scientific diagrams for a joint project with the Science department. Our students really captured the essence of Love and Tolerance week in their creative outputs.
Humanities were looking at several different areas of Love and Tolerance, with Geography focusing on Millenium Development Goals and their impact on the world today, History looking at lots of key figures who promoted love and tolerance through their lives and work, Citizenship exploring the meaning of love and tolerance in society today and MFL producing some fantastic multi-lingual work on their likes and dislikes.
PE promoted love and tolerance through teamwork and co-operation through different sports and activities across the week.
Performing Arts was the highlight of the week for me, with Drama looking at love and tolerance through many different aspects of the drama world and giving the students first-hand experience in portraying these two significant characteristics on stage and in their lives.
The school production of Hairspray was an amazing summary of the efforts of the Performing Arts department, and communicated our message perfectly-thank you to Mrs Hancox and Mrs Forni for a superb and very fitting production!
Music looked at ‘Where is the Love?’ and ‘Love is all around me’, culminating in a performance of a ‘Where is the Love?/Somewhere over the Rainbow’ mash up at the tree planting ceremony on Thursday.
The S.E.N. Department worked on a banner to go on the wall of the Physio Room, and created pieces of writing to discuss times when they have experienced love and tolerance.
The extra-curricular opportunities our staff and students had over the week were to enhance the experience of Love and Tolerance Week. Students were given the opportunity to take part in a meditation workshop, burying a time capsule with Keepmoat and learning about the development being built across from our school and a tree planting ceremony where, as a school community, we signed the Anne Frank Declaration, promising to stand up against racism and segregation and fight against prejudice.
We were also very proud to invite Eva Clarke to our school. Eva was born in a Nazi death camp and survived to tell the story of her survival and what happened to her family.
The tremendous effort given to this project has been truly inspiring and the students gave and gained so much from their experiences-thank you to everyone for their contributions and I look forward to the next one!