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This week the College has been celebrating women's achievements to coincide with International Women's Day.
In the Junior School, pupils started the week-long celebrations with a special assembly led by Mrs Carmichael-Line, introducing the origins of International Women's Day and reminding pupils that the smallest action can be the start of something great. The assembly featured a number of Junior school teachers sharing stories of inspirational women including members of our families alongside more famous faces.
Throughout the week, Junior School pupils were lucky enough to share stories sent in by the families of our pupils. Our wonderful St Dunstan's parents shared stories of their own challenges, and those from family members, to really remind us that you do not have to be rich, or famous, to be a female inspiration and have an incredible story to tell. One of our parents shared her incredible story of being the 'only woman in the room', having been deployed to Afghanistan as the only woman in a group of 300 infantry soldiers. We heard incredible advice about how to manage similar situations, and to be bold and confident whatever the situation.
Specialist lessons throughout the week focused on activities linked to International Women's Day. In Skills for Life, younger pupils considered what makes a St Dunstan's Girl? We found out that they are brave, strong, kind and compassionate. Prep school students considered the #ChoosetoChallenge slogan, considering advances for equality but also where challenges still lie. We discovered that no woman has yet walked on the moon, or been the leader of the UN or the President of America, and spoke about the attributes needed for these positions regardless of gender.
In the Senior School this week, we have been celebrating the achievements of women on the video wall. Students and staff have submitted images and information about women that have inspired them and we have shared their stories as a community. We have been able to hear about wonderful stories of family members, activists, politicians, writers, artists, musicians and women in STEM. One of our Year 12 students told us about his mother; her work as a nurse, her life as a single black mother and how she has inspired him to see that anything is possible with a resilient and positive mindset.
Mrs McLellan gave Senior School assembly this week and addressed how we can choose to challenge gender bias within politics and leadership. ‘I found it fascinating to hear how much further we have to go to achieve equality in politics and our class then had an interesting debate on how we can encourage more women in to politics’ Inaya, Year 10.
In tutorials, a performance from the spoken word poet Anisa Nandaula prompted discussion about how we can challenge gender bias and inequality. Students then looked at some scenarios and considered how they could respond if they witnessed gender bias and inequality and how to respond to and report sexism.
On Wednesday Mrs Davies gave a talk entitled ‘Feminism through the evolution of the Disney princess’. This looked at how society and the role of women within society has changed, including the presentation of women in the media. It addressed the different phases in the feminist movement in the 80 years since the release of Snow White and how the princesses in the Disney films have evolved to reflect these changes. ‘I learnt a lot about feminism and it was really interesting to see how the princesses have evolved and how they reflected what was happening in the world at that time’ Elly, Year 10
- International Women's Day