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Copleston High School

Promoting Equality

Our school's motto is "Achieving Success Together". We therefore: 

  1. Try to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect. 
  2. Make sure our school is a safe, secure and stimulating place for everyone.
  3.  Recognise that people have different needs and we understand that treating people equally does not always involve treating them all exactly the same. 
  4. Recognise that for some students, extra support is needed to help them to achieve and be successful. 
  5. Aim to make sure that no one experiences harassment, less favourable treatment or discrimination because of their age, any disability they may have, their ethnicity, colour or national origin, their gender, their gender identity or reassignment, being pregnant or recently had a baby, their religion or beliefs, their sexual identity and orientation.  

We welcome our general duty under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations. We are an inclusive school that pays due regard to the differences between our students- we have and are continuing to develop a curriculum that supports all students to understand, respect and value difference and diversity.

How Copleston Supports Equality Issues

As a school we have a huge responsibility to ensure that children of all backgrounds and races recognise the existence of intolerance. The curriculum we deliver and class discussions we have carefully attempt to do this at an age appropriate level. We are constantly evolving our curriculum as we better understand how to celebrate diversity. We aim to educate children so that they are able to make the small adjustments to their own actions which will erode, and ultimately remove, both negative thoughts and actions against others. We do not tolerate any form of negative behaviour towards others. We see that as a school we have a duty to lead on matters such as intolerance and we should not sit quietly.

Recently all Copleston and CGET staff attended a webinar led by Professor of Education, Professor Gill Crozier, from the University of Roehampton entitled ‘An Introduction to Institutional Racism in Education’. Please click this link into your web browser if you wish to watch this insightful presentation: An Introduction to Racism

However, we cannot do this alone. All teachers know that before you can support a child to understand something you have to understand it yourself. We need parents and carers to talk about diversity with their children. Below are a series of links and suggested reading that can be used to prompt these discussions at home. They are an excellent starting point to recognise the unidentified and unconscious biases many may have. During this unusual time the majority of you may have more opportunity than ever to talk to your children. Recent events in the news can be turned into a positive if it becomes the catalyst for an honest and open conversation with your children. It may be uncomfortable and they will have questions. You don’t need to have all the answers, but opening the dialogue is something we can all do. 

As a parent this British Red Cross guide may be helpful to help with conversations at home Taking to Young People About Racism

Copleston's Equality Objectives:

1. To narrow the attainment gap and improve outcomes for all students regardless of special educational need, disability, race, ethnicity, socio economic group, sexual orientation, religion, health or gender reassignment.

2. Raise the attainment, achievement and narrow the gap between all groups of students so that they exceed the national standards.

3. To develop our Student Voice in conjunction with the Student Council and incorporate a diversity agenda where issues are explored and where possible acted upon.

4. To develop our Home Learning platform, including building a Home Learning club to offer to all students a safe and secure place to develop their knowledge, understanding and continue their studies in the school environment.

5. To develop our cultural capital knowledge through Home Learning and Supercurriculum documents (on Satchel). This will also involve developing diversity awareness further through our PSE programme. In addition to this, to create an ‘Equilibrium’ group for staff where balance and equality will be discovered through a variety of activities.

We have also put together some suggested reading and viewing that may inspire you further:


Michelle Obama ‘Becoming’. A longer read and a fantastic and inspiring autobiography showing how a young girl moved beyond expectations.

Harper Lee ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. A fictional novel about events in a small American town with built in racism which still has relevance today.

A short article with film clips that celebrates influential black figures.

An article on the impact of the Black Lives Matter campaign seen in the return to premier league football.

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Renni Eddo Lodge

Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla Saad

Racism: A Very Short Introduction - Very Short Introductions by Ali Rattansi

Anything by Maya Angelou who herself once said "If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be".

John Barnes, former England footballer, speaking on ITV’s ‘Peston’ about how society needs to move forwards with race awareness and actions

David Olusoga’s 4 part documentary series ‘Black and British.’

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United and England footballer, in a short interview about his inspirational and successful campaign to get the government’s free school meals vouchers scheme extended over the summer.

An article celebrating black women you should know about:

And finally, a powerful message from the influential brand, Nike.


No White Saviors is an advocacy campaign led by a majority female, majority African team

In School Experiences

We also celebrate diversity through a series of assemblies and form time activities that share knowledge and appreciation of all differences. We aim to make sure that no one experiences harassment, less favourable treatment or discrimination because of any disability they may have; their ethnicity, colour or national origin; their gender; their gender identity or reassignment; their religion or beliefs; their sexual identity and orientation.

The Student Council will, throughout 2020-21, begin an explicit focus on Equality, Inclusivity and Diversity and will aim to research and present to all students across the school updated information to help education students on their perceptions. The PSE curriculum will also be further developed to explore issues of equality and discrimination in more depth. The school's curriculum will also be reviewed and an open dialogue will take place with curriculum leaders to ensure that their subjects are providing wide reaching information that is truly inclusive. 

In addition to this, we have adapted the images below to result in a series of images that can be seen around the school's buildings. These can be found in the 'Parent Update' document below. 

EAL provision at Copleston

Hello, hi, buna, hei, bonjour and welcome to Copleston! This is a brief guide to provision for students who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) at the school.

What is EAL?

It’s easier to explain what is not – EAL is not a learning disability nor is it a Special Educational Need. It can be a learning barrier but, like all barriers, it can be overcome. Carers whose children have EAL can tick the EAL box on our application form. This alerts the school to any additional needs the student(s) might have. There are about 200 students with EAL at Copleston which is 11% of our student population. Languages range from Bengali to Turkish to Portuguese. Research shows that being able to speak two or more languages puts that person at an immediate academic advantage as students with more than language outperform their peers at GCSE and beyond.

My child is EAL; what happens at Copleston to support them?

If your child needs support, they’ll get support. This might be through intervention, in-class support through a classroom assistant, one of our Young Interpreters or one of our year 12 support team or through differentiated tasks set by the teacher. Copleston has the highest expectations of all our students at all times and the same standard, effort, attitude and ethos will be expected of your child. Once your child is lucky enough to gain a place here, there will be an initial assessment period during which the EAL co-ordinator will speak to your child, go into lessons to observe progress, gather information and data from teachers and classroom assistants and make a judgement about your child’s aptitude in English. This judgement will, of course, change over time – most EAL students come to Copleston and make very rapid progress in both their lessons and in acquiring English. There may be some students who need additional support and the EAL co-ordinator will monitor and evaluate your child’s progress accordingly. A tailor-made programme is put together for each student but this changes over time and it may be the case that support is apparently withdrawn which means that your child’s English has progressed to a sufficient level.

What else is offered?

A number of opportunities are available for EAL students. For example, we are always in need of Young Interpreters. These are students who support other students in class and may be called on to assist with other duties at Open Evening, for example. Being a Young Interpreter is a privilege as the Young Interpreter represents the school. You can see our Young Interpreters at a glance on a visit to our school as they wear green hoodies. The team currently comprises speakers of Romanian, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic and Chinese Mandarin. We also have a group of year 12 students who volunteer to support EAL students across the curriculum and we have a dedicated team of classroom assistants who support students across the school. There is an opportunity to enter your child for their first or home language GCSE when they are 16. Entries thus far have included Arabic, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Chinese Mandarin, Cantonese and German. We have a close relationship with a local translation company that helps us if needed. There is a morning English conversation club.  Lastly, we are most fortunate to have a Romanian interpreter and translator on our staff. There is a strong team ethos at Copleston and your child will benefit from this.

How can I help my child at home?

There are several strategies available to you:

  • Watch a film in English at least once a week and always have the English subtitles on. Then you’ll see and hear English. This will help you to learn English quickly.
  • Buy or borrow a good dictionary. Google Translate is acceptable for single words or short phrases- but please don’t rely on it!

Please see below for further information.