7th April 2000 at 01:00
Snaps by Neil Turner.

A day in the life of Walthamstow school for girls, London borough of Waltham Forest.

Debbie Saloman rehearses her big number for the evening concert.

Daljit drums up the right spirit with dance teacher Jyoti Trivedi.

Best friends: Rachel Greenberg, left, and Sabrina Ahmed.

Match that: Gemma Cook puts the boot in.

Even Minnie Mouse wears suffragette colours.

Gulshad Khan in the Year 10 Asian dance group.

Shama Aslam takes part in a performance led by the Angel Dance School.

Every pupil in this single-sex comprehensive did something to celebrate International Women's Day last month. Their activities included football training, a performance by A-level drama students of Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle and a version of What's My Line about unusual women's jobs. There was also a visit from Panorama reporter Sarah Powell, who talked about one of her programmes, Back to the Kitchen Sink, broadcast earler this year, and a circus troupe performance exploring women's fashion. "The idea was to celebrate our identity as a successful single-sex school (it was awarded beacon school status last year)," says deputy head Sue Higgins. The school has celebrated the day for the past five years, each year with a slightly different emphasis. "Every pupil takes part in an activity which is a bit special, which is fun and educational and which is related to women's issues in some way." Last year it was women's reading and this year, in line with the numeracy strategy, the theme was "women count". The activities chosen also depend on feedback from the 900 pupils - the football was added at their request. They also asked for a more global perspective in keeping with the school's multiracial mix - about a third have origins in the Indian subcontinent, a quarter are Afro-Caribbean, and half have English as a second language - altogether 36 different languages are spoken.

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