The latest edition of School Report magazine features schools teaching students to fight injustice and take a stand.
Recent times have seen the power of the student voice in independent schools brought to the fore.
At South Hampstead High School, pupils are actively encouraged to speak out, speak up and find a sense of purpose. Clubs that students at the school have initiated and manage themselves include PRIDE and Feminist Society, and at the end of 2020 two Sixth Form students delivered an online assembly encouraging students over 16 to register to vote.
The school’s steering group for diversity and inclusion, which includes students and was formed following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, led on activities for Black History Month, and recent speakers at the school have discussed racism and unconscious bias.
Environmental activity has seen students persuade the Head to let them attend a school strike for climate demonstration and successfully lobby for meat-free school lunches, with pupils even getting the school to forgo crackers at the 2020 Christmas lunch in order to reduce waste.
Sixth Form charity captains galvanised the school community to support a local foodbank to help tackle food poverty, and SHHS was the first school to stage the play Emilia, which articulates prejudices.
Schools educate the adults of the future and it is therefore vitally important that they teach and encourage pupils to speak out against the injustice that they see in the world. Though it is evident that much work remains to be done, it is heartening to see that there are schools doing this in the independent sector.
Spring/Summer Term 2020 edition of School Report magazine