Year 11 tolerance workshop with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation

The family of Sophie Lancaster set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation after she was brutally murdered just for being different. Her family wanted to ensure a lasting legacy, and to help make sure that this tragedy would never happen again. 

The Foundation works with young people to deliver educational workshops that highlight tolerance, acceptance and discrimination. Mrs Kaur's Year 11 sociology class had been discussing these issues in class.

Using flashcards of different people, the students were asked to pick three people they would want to spend time with and why. They were then asked to pick three people they wouldn't want to spend time with. 

The aim of the activity was to get the students thinking about how they judge people just from what they can see. The facilitator Dena explained that whilst first impressions are important, but they aren't always right. She picked some of the cards students had chosen not to spend time with and gave the class some facts about their life. 

Some students were surprised to find that the person they had labelled an 'emo' was actually a mechanic that liked football and computer games. Likewise, many were shocked to find that Sophie, the girl they had said seemed 'weird' or 'unapproachable' was in fact looking forward to university and volunteering at a community centre when her life was cut short for just being different. 

The aim of the session was to get the students to think twice about what they were saying and how they were judging people that they didn't even know. At the Academy we believe in Equality and Equity, and by working with other organisations that share these values we are helping break down barriers and stop more things like the murder of Sophie from happening. 

Thank you very much to Dena and Adam from The Sophie Lancaster Foundation for running this valuable and moving session in the Academy. 

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