DIVERSITY is something that we strive to celebrate on a daily basis here at King’s. However, School Diversity Week, which is held every year in June, is a wonderful opportunity to reinforce the importance and understanding of intersectionality and other aspects of diversity within our school community.

Overseen by Ben Allen, who is Deputy Head of English and LGBTQ and Inclusion Lead, our School Diversity Week programme has been a huge undertaking for both students and staff, but the outcomes have been immense, with students across Years 9, 10 and 12 getting involved and widening their understanding of lived experiences different to their own.

What’s more, the celebrations have also raised £515 for Centrepoint, a charity which supports homeless young adults aged 16-25.

Here is how we celebrated School Diversity Week…

The week began with a tutor activity on the theme of allyship, reinforcing much of the work that students undertook in their Diversity and Inclusion Workshop in the Lent Term. Members of the ‘King’s Unity’ group and various ‘Diversity Representatives’ from each House were able to put together the following activities, whilst using a range of effective poster campaigns to educate their peers on: gender identities, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, neurodiversity, racial diversity and multilingualism.

School House kicked the week off to a sizzling start on June 22nd with their Language Diversity BBQ. Students flocked to the garden to feast on burgers and sausages, with the extra challenge of ordering in Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Ukrainian, Dutch and Norwegian. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the wide cultural diversity that the boys have in their boarding house.

On June 23rd, students and staff were treated to a fantastic variety of fairground games, all organised and hosted by Wendreda and Etheldreda Houses. Here, pupils from across the school competed in a rowing competition, tin can toss, gorged on ice lollies, and even tried to match flags to various gender identities.

June 24th saw pupils and staff coming together in the Hill House garden (supported by students from Hereward) to celebrate racial and cultural diversity through the expressive forms of K-Pop and Afro-dance. It was a truly special event, bringing much laughter and our pupil instructors – Momoko, Emi and Tehilla – were incredible teachers!

On the morning of June 24th, Torfrida House also led a Cathedral Service on the theme of Pride Month, educating students and staff on its importance and the progression of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK. Special mention must go to the following students for their dedication towards making this special service happen: Nia Baird, Emily Morris, Georgia Gordon, Isobel Dennis, Isabel Senior, Ruby Beeney, Jemma Basford and Cordelia Udy. The Dean of Ely, the Very Reverend Mark Bonney, who is also a King’s Ely Governor, provided us with a reflective prayer in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

After the weekend, Wilkinson and Osmond Houses built up an awareness of the challenges around physical disability in sport with games of blind football and three-legged basketball. It was both an entertaining and enlightening experience for all involved, with Osmond winning the prize of some Cadbury’s Heroes.

To close the celebrations, students and staff from Torfrida and Withburga Houses hosted a Pride Month Bake Sale on June 28th. The sale included a range of cakes and biscuits, from flag-decorated cookies to gluten free, rainbow cupcakes. Staff and students came together with Mark Bonney once more, to delight in the sweet treats and acknowledge the importance of diverse representation at King’s.

Mr Allen said: “The week was a monumental success! On a personal note, I am so proud to see how many students and staff came together in support of inclusion and diversity. The members of King’s Unity in particular have put all their efforts into turning a tentative proposal into a very real, meaningful event of celebration.”

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