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Good Practice Case Study

Martins Wood Primary School logoMartins Wood Primary School

School No: 155



February 2012

Subject Coverage:


Key Stages:



Andrew Carless
Deputy Headteacher, Martins Wood Primary School

Karin Hutchinson
Anti-bullying Adviser, SSE

School Web Site:

Martins Wood Primary school has a long history of being an effective inclusive school and placing equalities as a priority.  The Expect Respect Equalities Award is proudly displayed in the school entrance. 

The school signed up to the Drawing the Line initiative when it was first launched.  It has undertaken PSHE&C lessons and activities to challenge pupils on their hurtful and negative use of the word ‘gay’ and all staff (who have been trained using Drawing the Line materials such as the Celebrating Difference DVD from Stonewall) are expected to challenge all forms of homophobia.  Regular assemblies focus on difference and themes of equality, and homophobia is seen equally to any other form of prejudice and treated as such across the school’s policies and practice.

The school has purchased a number of books which challenge stereotypes and focus on issues surrounding difference and equality (including homophobia, amongst others).  These have been carefully assigned to different year groups as class novels and stories for PSHE&C as well as diversifying the school library’s selection.

Stonewall’s “Different Families, Same Love” resources are used and the accompanying posters are displayed throughout the school.  These encompass many differences, not just sexuality, and have been used to prompt discussion and support an inclusive ethos around the school both informally and more formally as part of PSHE&C work.

The school took part in the HABI Your Say pupil survey on homophobia.  The county data report that resulted was shared with the school council and Year 6. Year group specific data was shared within classes to identify strengths and areas for improvement within cohorts. Cohort data was also used to inform teachers’ PSHE&C planning and shared with subsequent teachers as part of the transition process at the end of the year.

In Autumn 2011, the school booked the anti-bullying adviser to deliver a pupil anti-homophobia workshop to both year 6 classes.  These one-hour workshops involved age appropriate content on:

  • stereotyping and hurtful behaviour based on difference
  • sharing of part of the book “The Sissy Duckling”
  • defining homophobia
  • understanding that the word “gay” is a positive word chosen by some people to describe themself
  • role play of responding to challenge school fellows being homophobic

The workshop was enjoyed by the pupils and they participated well throughout.  Feedback from staff on the workshop was very positive and included the following comments:

“It was useful having an outsider lead the session as it gave another perspective for the children and helped support our equalities work but from somebody new. It was particularly powerful when you said, as a county adviser, that homophobia was unacceptable in this school and in all schools in Hertfordshire.  We could not have made that statement with the same authority and impact.” 

Andrew Carless, Deputy Headteacher, Martins Wood Primary School
Karin Hutchinson, Anti-bullying Adviser