We regularly celebrate inspirational women, including the four women who founded our school during a time of massive gender inequality in Victorian Britain. Each year, we acknowledge International Women’s Day in March, and this year we have taken it further by holding a ‘Vote 100’ Enrichment Day, with the whole of the Infant and Junior School taking part in celebrations and activities centred around #VOTE100 and #PressforProgress - the theme for International Women’s Day 2018.
Our aim was to give our youngest learners an appreciation of the struggle and courageous action undertaken by women’s movements, particularly the suffragettes and suffragists, to give us the rights we often take for granted today.
The Infants and Juniors were put into a situation where the school house groups Amethysts and Rubies were allowed to vote on activities and the Emerald and Sapphire houses were not. A deep sense of injustice immediately ensued! The aims of the day were to understand why people vote to initiate change, to understand that women have not always had the right to vote, to understand how women won the vote, to learn about key women in the suffragist and suffragette movements and to develop a knowledge of inspirational women who have overcome gender inequality and succeeded.
By the end of the day the girls had learned some very surprising facts, and had begun to understand that the struggle for gender equality isn’t yet over.
An exciting new link with some of our oldest students has just been established with the creation of a ‘Wonder Women’ after-school club, aimed at raising the awareness of inspirational women, both historical and modern-day, amongst our Year 5 pupils. The idea for the weekly club, along with the responsibility for planning, organising and delivering it, lies with a group of passionate Year 12 students.