Embracing diversity is key to a strong school community, and I could not be prouder to be leading a school where diversity really matters.
—Giles Entwisle, Headmaster
Our pupils experience diversity in their everyday life, they have regular exposure to people, cultures, traditions and practices that are unlike their own. They learn from a very early age to embrace diversity and gain a worldlier, balanced and informed perspective. As we compare our own struggles, priorities and values we really begin to understand other people, to walk in their shoes and see real life issues from a completely different point of view. Of course the promotion of diversity is the first step to not just ‘tolerance’ but true acceptance. Through growing contact with, exposure to, and communication between new people with unique ideas, our pupils see that they may have more in common than they thought. Or, they may still be remarkably different, and that is okay too! Increasing familiarity with these differences can alter perspectives, facilitate acceptance, and diminish the misconceptions and prejudices that fuel discrimination.
Bringing people together with different backgrounds, life experiences, skills, aptitudes and perspectives, generates a far more enriching learning environment at school.
One pupil after our recent assembly astutely observed “Wouldn’t it be better to have multiple interpretations and approaches, rather than everyone contributing the same thoughts and conclusions?” Diversity within our Board of Governors is also a great strength and emphasising the importance at the highest level of the organisation serves to shine a spotlight on its importance throughout the school community.
Within the whole Durston community, our differences make us stronger, of that there is absolutely no doubt. Even in the face of intolerance, discrimination and prejudice, the message has to be to remember to spread the word about the importance of diversity and to respond to threats with love and a celebration of our differences.
We’re going co-ed in 2023
From September 2023, pupils will see both their male and female peers excelling academically across a variety of subjects, and understand that no one gender is better at a subject than the other. Pupils will grow to respect and appreciate the opinions and attributes of both genders, understanding that even though they may not be the same, they are still equal. Pupils will have the opportunity to work in mixed-gender groups in the classroom, and same-sex groups during sports and other activities. This varied experience means that both female and male perspectives are constantly explored and the varied modes of communication amongst the genders are better understood. We believe this will help give our pupils the rounded experience and preparation they will need to form positive relationships in later life and to become a force for good in the world.