Course notes

17th October 2003 at 01:00
Nick Langham, of Stockwell Park high, south London, finds out how to deal with bigots Course Tackling Homophobia, Creating Safer Spaces.

Provider Chrysalis, tel: 020 7635 0476.

Venue In school, July and September 2003.

Cost pound;250 per trainer (we had three). Part paid by school, part by Lambeth police.

How did you find out about the course?

Through our community police officer.

Why did you choose it?

We were working on social and moral development issues, like anti-bullying.

What did it promise?

"Support for teachers in developing skills and techniques for tackling homophobia and hate crime."

Did it deliver?

We dealt with difficult issues. We looked at ways of supporting different groups in the school, and developing policies that will help us move forward as a community.

Highs and lows Chrysalis were receptive and flexible; they were sensitive to the needs of our school and let us explore our own ways of doing things. We had excellent workshop sessions. But we designed the course for afternoons at the end and beginning of term when we all had a lot on so we were tired.

Message, motto or mantra We worked with our school motto - "attitude determines altitude" - because the course was about changing entrenched attitudes.

Best advice To respect children's maturity in discussion and to build on this to reinforce confidence. Then you can look at creating a more open environment.

Has it made a difference?

It raised lots of questions; we're following up on some of the issues now with staff and children. We want everyone to have a voice in the way the school develops.

Coming your way?

Chrysalis runs workshops aimed at issues around the rights and perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people, including schools'

responsibilities under current and forthcoming legislation. Contact Sue Saunders (number above).

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