Women’s History Month 2023

31 March 2023

The month of March is Women’s History Month, which also marks International Women’s Day on 8th March. The theme this year was ‘Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories’. To celebrate this, we ran a whole school initiative, with corridor displays, Assemblies and workshops with our boys from Nursery to Year 8, raising awareness of equality for both girls and boys.

Our aim this month was not to tick a box, but to promote the values we hold as a school of respect and integrity, giving our boys the opportunities to reflect and appreciate the women in their life, in the world, leading to an equal future as they grow up.

Our Little Beacons engaged in a ‘Circus’ topic this term. So, to celebrate Women’s History Month, they learned about Nell Gifford, who was the founder of Gifford’s Circus. Our teachers read the story of ‘Nell and the Circus of Dreams’, which is about a little girl called Nell who makes friends with a tiny chick on her farm. The story highlights how this relationship is the start of a journey that leads her into a dreamy circus realm. Nell had ambitions to set up her own travelling circus to bring happiness and wonder to others…

Pre-Prep have been learning about the solar system as their topic this term, so to raise awareness of Women’s History Month, Year 2 learnt all about two black, Space Scientists called Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Mae Jemison. The boys read about what inspired the ladies to study Space and then discussed what set-backs they had to face during their lives. One of our boys, Nathanael, said that he enjoyed hearing about the famous women because they both looked similar, another boy, Arthur, said he thought they were both inspiring because they tried their hardest and never gave up. The boys then took part in a Drama workshop where they had to interview each other as potential NASA employees, focussing on what qualities these two ladies had and why they are so successful.

We ran a series of Assemblies across the school to address Women’s History Month including a link to safeguarding. Our Lower School boys enjoyed a Women’s History Month Assembly where they shared a mention of inspirational women in their lives with the rest of the year. The boys impressed teachers with their knowledge citing people such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Marie Curie and Rosa Parks.

In Middle School, the boys enjoyed an assembly celebrating the achievements of our Beacon women, some of whom were present to do a short talk about their lives growing up.

Our Upper School boys engaged in a series of curriculum workshops addressing a range of topics for discussion among the groups, including:

  • An introduction to International Women’s Day covering issues women face and how these may have changed over the years
  • The evolution of sexism; when it began and why
  • Gender stereotypes; what they are and how they affect men and women
  • The law on equality including pay equality and particularly how this compares in the Sports profession, touching on the challenges of well-known sports women
  • Toxic Masculinity; what it is and the role of the bystander
  • Media portrayal of men and women

The workshops were interactive, with an aim to gauge the views of our boys and encourage a discussion about different topics. Some of the workshops discussed what it means to be a boy or man in the 21st Century, touching on popular song lyrics and the meaning behind statements such as ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘boys don’t cry’.

Early Years’ Stay & Play – Tuesday 21 May

We are delighted to welcome families with boys aged 2-4 to our Stay & Play sessions on Tuesday 21 May – click here to book.

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