DCSF Guidance on curriculum development
Key Stage 1
Teachers can use this page to think about opportunities to raise issues relevant to anti-bullying including homophobic bullying. Staff will already be mindful of the fact that some children may come from families where there is only one parent, where a parent(s) may be deceased, or where children live with grand-parents or are in care. When planning and delivering lessons at Key Stage 1 staff will also want to consider if some pupils may have same-sex parents or lesbian and gay family members.
Staff will find that using this information in conjunction with theme 3 of SEAL ‘Say no to bullying’ is helpful. Staff will need to ensure that any conversations about homophobic bullying are age-appropriate. Where Key Stage 1 pupils unknowingly use homophobic language staff will want to consider advice in Download 16 (Responding to verbal incidents in primary school) on how to respond.
Teaching points for class and the Relevance to homophobic bullying:
1.1 That there are different types of teasing and bullying, that bullying is wrong and that if they are being bullied they know how to get help.
Pupils understand what homophobic bullying is, the harm it can do, and what the school does to stop it.
To agree and follow rules for their group and classroom and understand how rules help them. Why rules exist to stop homophobic bullying.
1.2 Rules to help pupils keep safe, and people that can help them stay safe.
Pupils understand where they can go if they are experiencing homophobic bullying, and who they can tell.
1.3 How to recognise how their behaviour affects other people.
Pupils understand that their actions, such as calling a pupil “gay” or teasing them for having same sex parents can affect them, and why it is bullying.
1.4 To identify and respect the differences and similarities between people.
Pupils understand that not all pupils have a mum and a dad, and might have important people in their life who are gay. Pupils respect these differences.
Key Stage 2
Teachers can use this page to think about cross-curricular opportunities to teach specifically about anti-bullying including homophobic bullying. They may find it helpful to use this in association with theme 3 of the SEAL resource pack ‘Say no to bullying’.
Teaching points for class, Relevance to homophobic bullying and Other curriculum opportunities:
2.1 To realise the nature and consequences of racism, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours and how to respond to them and ask for help.
Pupils, in this context, can equally learn about the nature and consequences of homophobic bullying, including how to respond and ask for help. Circle time: What is bullying? Why do people bully? Why might some be bullied? How can we stop it?
2.2 To realise the consequences of anti-social and aggressive behaviours, such as bullying and racism, on individuals and communities. Homophobic bullying is anti-social and aggressive.
Pupils understand this. Circle time: Who experiences discrimination and bullying in society? What happens? Who does the bullying? Do similar things happen in school?
2.3 Why and how rules and laws are made and enforced, why different rules are needed in different situations and how to take part in making and changing rules.
Pupils understand that the school makes and sets rules about homophobic bullying in order to stop it happening. Pupils have input into those rules. Group work: What rules exist in society that protect minorities from discrimination? Why do these rules exist? What similar rules do we have in schools?
2.4 To recognise and challenge stereotypes. Pupils understand that sometimes “boys don’t act like boys” and “girls don’t act like girls”.
Pupils understand that bullying someone in this context can be a form of homophobic bullying. Project work: Do girls and boys behave in the same way? In what way are they different? How do we expect girls and boys to behave? What happens when they don’t?
2.5 That differences and similarities between people arise from a number of factors.
Pupils understand that some people are lesbian, gay or bisexual and this does not make them inferior nor does it justify discrimination and bullying. Different families: How are families shown on television and in the media? How does that differ to our own families? What similarities are there?
2.6 That their actions affect themselves and others, to care about other people’s feelings and try to see things from their point of view.
Pupils understand that not all young people will be the same as them, and bullying them for being “different” is unfair and unkind. Group activity: Feelings tree. How do I feel today? What makes me feel better? What makes me feel worse? How does being bullied affect how I feel? How does bullying someone make me feel?
Key Stage 3
Teachers can use this information to think about opportunities to teach specifically about anti-bullying including homophobic bullying. The teaching points provide examples of curriculum contexts other than PSHE.
Teaching points for class, Relevance to homophobic bullying and Other curriculum opportunities:
3.1 To respect the differences between people as they develop their own sense of identity.
Homophobic bullying occurs because people are thought to be “different” and so they are treated differently. Some people try to change their identity to conform or find different friends and groups. Geography: People come from different cultures and speak different languages. Some people want to live in communities where they can be with similar people. For example, Bangladeshi communities, the large gay community in Brighton. Why might people do this? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?
3.2 About the effects of all types of stereotyping, prejudice, bullying, racism and discrimination and how to challenge them assertively.
Homophobic bullying is based in prejudice and discrimination. Pupils who are bullied should feel able to challenge this, and report incidents. Pupils who bully should understand the effects of homophobic bullying. History: People have been discriminated against in the past because of prejudice. During the holocaust, Jewish, elderly, disabled and gay people were killed because of their identity.
3.3 How to empathise with people different from ourselves.
Homophobic bullying occurs when “boys don’t act like boys” and “girls don’t act like girls”. Pupils should understand that people are different and act in different ways and bullying because of this is damaging. PE and sport science: What is the impact of gender-specific sports? What happens when a boy is good at dancing or gymnastics? What happens when a girl is good at rugby or hockey?
3.4 About the role and feelings of parents and carers and the value of family life.
Pupils should understand that family structures can be different to their own. Pupils should feel able to talk about their own families, even if they have same sex parents or family members, and that the core values of families are the same in this context. Citizenship: What makes families work? What things stop families working? Does a family have to have a mum and a dad in order to be successful?
3.5 Feel positive about themselves and participate.
Pupils should feel able to be themselves in school, and participate in activities that they want to take part in. They should be able to do this without experiencing homophobic bullying. Performing Arts: Ask boys what it might be like to be the female character and girls what it might be like to be the male character? How does it feel to try and take on that character’s role? How is gender relevant to the performance?
3.6 Find information and advice.
Schools who equip lesbian and gay pupils to find information and support safely will send a clear signal that they can report incidents of homophobic bullying and be taken seriously. ICT: Pupils can find information on the internet, and know how to stay safe in chat rooms and message boards (see guidance on cyber-bullying in Safe to Learn).
Key Stage 4 and 16+
Teachers can use this information to think about opportunities to teach specifically about anti-bullying across the curriculum, including homophobic bullying. Teachers should help pupils make links between what they have learnt in the school’s SRE/PSHE and other parts of the curriculum about human sexuality and respect for themselves and others.
Teaching points for class, Relevance to homophobic bullying and Curriculum opportunities:
4.1 About the diversity of different ethnic groups and the power of prejudice.
Pupils can also be taught about the impact that prejudice has on the lesbian, gay and bisexual population, consider how homophobic bullying manifests itself in schools, and the impact this has on society in general. Pupils can also consider how people think about their own sexual orientation, and other people’s. English Literature: Several set texts in English Literature provide an opportunity to discuss sexual orientation. ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ explores confusion about sexual identity, leading to unplanned pregnancy. ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’ explores Carlos’ range of emotions from pride to grief.
4.2 To challenge offending behaviour, prejudice, bullying, racism and discrimination, and take the initiative in giving and receiving support.
Pupils can understand that homophobic bullying is a form of prejudice and discrimination, and that they have a responsibility to intervene when it is occurring amongst other pupils. Developing pupil support systems: Older pupils can help develop and advice on pupil support systems that will enable them to intervene in cases of homophobic bullying.
4.3 About the nature and importance of marriage in family life, the role and responsibilities of parents, and the quality of good parenting.
Pupils can understand that families take many different forms, and that same-sex parents can share the same core values as opposite sex parents. Developing understanding of this difference helps tackle prejudice. Pupils should feel able to talk about their own experiences. Citizenship: Who do we love? What does society say about who we love? What is the impact of Civil Partnerships?
4.4 Feel positive about themselves and participate fully.
Pupils, regardless of sexual orientation, should feel positive about themselves and feel able to participate fully, even if their activities and interests are not the same as other pupils. This can prompt homophobic bullying, which should be challenged. During group sessions: Older pupils can deliver sessions to younger pupils against stereotyping. Older pupils involved in non-traditional activities should also showcase what they are doing to younger pupils.
4.5 Find information and provide advice.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils should be able to access advice and support in order to stay safe and enjoy and achieve. Pupils should feel supported in providing help and advice to younger pupils experiencing homophobic bullying. ICT: Pupils know how to find information about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues including finding information so they can avoid risk-taking experiences. Are able to provide information and guidance to younger pupils. Are aware how to use the internet safely (see DCSF guidance on cyber-bullying in Safe to Learn).
Prepare for change. Pupils should understand that extensive legislation exists that prevents discrimination against people on the grounds of sexual orientation and that homophobic bullying will not be tolerated at work. PSHE: The world of work. What laws exist in employment that protects people from discrimination? What impact does that have on society? What impact does it have on pupils leaving school?
80% of UK schools are aware of homophobic bullying incidents
6% of schools have policies targeting homophobic bullying
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