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Friday, January 4, 2013

Promoting Equity and Social Justice (Bath, England)

At Widcombe Infant School in Bath, England, equal opportunities are given to each student regardless of the circumstances that they find themselves in which are out of their control.  It is clear that the teachers take the time to know about each individual’s background and family life as well as any other contexts that play a part in a child’s education.  In general, the school, while maintaining a great reputation, takes students from the surrounding area and accommodates their needs as they come about.  In this way, they are not discriminating against any issues that arose early on in the child’s life, allowing everyone to be on equal ground in the school context of their lives.

One example of accommodating to ensure equal opportunities for all students revolves around one student’s family life.  His father came forward and said that he would encourage his son’s school work as best as he could, but that he could not read and write himself, so he would not be able to help complete homework with the student or read the required books with him at home.  In knowing this, the teachers then ensure that the student gets extra help during school time so that he has someone to read to him or read to because this is a crucial exercise in the reception (pre-school) class.  When they have to communicate with the student’s father at home, they talk on the telephone and keep him up to date verbally as opposed to doing so through notes or e-mails.  This is one way in a series of many that I have noticed at the school in which students are guaranteed an equal opportunity for the best education possible.

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