"What is means to be..." is a new educational initiative led by Year 12 students Amelia and Beatrice. Boarding student, Amelia, shares their aims and ambitions below.

"We aim to teach people more about a whole range of important matters, including equality and human rights topics, also creating a safe space to discuss ideas and challenge opinions. We believe that education and experience are keys to change in society. Inspired by Nathan Rutstein’s words - “Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance.”, we want to further inspire our peers and staff members to emphasize with others, rather than quickly judge them.

We aim for this group to be able to eliminate prejudice and inform people’s opinions and dissolve stereotypes. We wish to help our peers form a more open-minded view of life and be more considerate towards many different people.

"What is means to be a foreigner..."

In this spirit, our first session, which took place on 27th May 2021, provided experience of what it means to be a foreigner, or rather, how it feels to be a foreigner. The first half of the presentation conducted in Polish gave listeners the sense of how, for example, boarding students in school feel when they first come to Chigwell and the challenge of studying 4 or 5 A levels in a second language. Further, the assembled had the opportunity to debate whether accentism, i. e. discriminatory behaviour based on accent and language use, is justified.

What's next?

At the moment meetings are available for all staff members and Sixth Form bubble, however, we hope to extend the opportunity to join for other year groups in September. Due to Year 12 exams, the date of the next session covering masculinism has been changed to be after the Lake District trip. We will be sending a message about the exact time and place of it through form tutors in about two weeks' time and look forward to sharing more in due course."