Pride Week 2021
Friday 16 July 2021
I was so excited to be involved in Ark Academy’s first official celebration of the Pride movement this year, an agenda which was powered by our fantastic Year 9 student council team! As a school that prides itself on its commitment to citizenship and community, celebrating the pride movement felt like a brilliant and timely addition to our commitment to championing social justice. Through our foci on Black History Month and International Women’s Day Ark Academy students demonstrate their compassion and activism in their community and our Pride week celebrations have been just another example of the tolerant young people who care for every element of their community.
Our weeklong celebrations began with teachers sharing why celebrating Pride month was important to them, and then moved on to include a range of topics such as the history of the Pride parade, LGBT+ rights around the world and why Pride is important to everyone. We were so impressed by the seriousness with which these topics were discussed, and the compassion Ark Academy students demonstrated. It was a testament to the incredible future leaders they are!
By far the highlight of our week was the fantastic assembly created by our sixth form prefects which explored the incredible achievements of various LGBT+ figures across history. From Alan Turing to Marsha P. Johnson, hearing their passionate explanation of the amazing achievements made by these figures was incredibly inspirational and demonstrated the important role that tolerance and respect hold in helping everyone achieve their potential and make the world a better place.
Finally, our week was capped off by a brilliant PSHE session which anchored the importance of pride in our school and community, relating it to our lives. The engagement and curiosity from the students was fantastic and we have been so proud to see then act as allies and champions of all sectors of their community. Working in a school which is so tolerant and inclusive really is a testament to the wonderful things Ark Academy students will go on to achieve in the future and the fact that they are paving the way for a better world.
Head of English
'Pride is an essential celebration that stems from the centuries of oppression, ignorance and ostracization. Thousands upon thousands had had to suffer through the cruelty of belief systems and ideologies that made them feel less than equal and silence who they were. However, our modern world has finally begun to move forward and beliefs are no longer set back as they once were. Despite their growing freedom, it is paramount that we continue to celebrate people on their sexual identity and learn about the influential history of members of the LGBT+ Community. This year Ark hosted its first ever Pride week! We were able to educate hundreds of students about respect, tolerance and acceptance. Its is our hope that Pride Week will only continue to grow in size, in acceptance and in celebration. It is time for students to learn about others and perhaps even learn a few things about themselves.'
Asmagh, Year 9 Student