Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging

“We long to belong, and belonging and caring anchors our sense of place in the universe.” – Patricia Churchland

Preet Kaur Gill MP

We were very privileged to spend some time talking to Preet Kaur Gill – the first female British Sikh MP.

It was very interesting to hear about the different things she has experienced and witnessed in her life and how these have influenced who she has become to be and do today. It was hugely insightful and I think it is fair to say that she is very inspirational.

Just one example of the work children do to celebrate Black History Month


At Woods Foundation, we have invested in a wide range of texts that celebrate diversity in its broadest sense, including cultural, sensory and neurodiversity. The children access these texts throughout school, starting in foundation with the Monster Phonics texts through to the latest publications for our oldest pupils. These include book banded books as well as reading for pleasure texts, texts linked to subjects in the curriculum and books read to the children at the end of the day. It’s important that not every book that features a diverse character is written to highlight difference. We want the texts at our school to demonstrate that, whatever a person’s background, gender or diversity, we share more in common than that which divides us. By reading a range of texts where differences are represented, we can help our pupils to be more compassionate, caring citizens. We are currently reviewing our guided reading curriculum to ensure that diversity is represented and celebrated, through the introduction of a broader range of texts.


Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging is covered across the curriculum including RE lessons, PSHE lessons, worship assemblies, whole school focus activities and community events. Examples of this can be viewed here: https://www.woodsfoundation.notts.sch.uk/our-school/events-gallery/

 Enrichment and Celebration

We continue to promote visits to and from people and places of worship. We aim to build strong community links with the whole community. We celebrate artwork, assemblies, festivals and our curriculum. Themes in assembly cover a range of themes including similarities and differences, respect, prominent and influential figures and what makes us different.

Protected Characteristics

Here at Woods Foundation, all staff and governors are committed to working together to provide a safe, nurturing and inclusive learning environment to ensure every pupil is part of the school community, whatever their ability or need. A true sense of belonging for every child as set out in our school’s vision and values.

From April 2012 schools were expected to meet the requirements of the Equality Act. The Equality Act 2012 brings all legislation under a more straight-forward law which is less complicated to understand and apply. The Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act. The effect of the law is the same as in the past, meaning that “schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation”. There are protected groups and schools have to ensure that the curriculum is delivered to allow access for all. To protect those people considered to have a disability, reasonable adjustments must be made.

Protected Characteristics

There are 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and all schools should be able to demonstrate that no form of discrimination is tolerated and that pupils show respect for those who share the protected characteristics.

The 9 Protected Characteristics are:   

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

 Under the Equality Act you are protected from discrimination:

  • When you are in the workplace
  • When you use public services like healthcare (for example, visiting your doctor or local hospital) or education (for example, at your school or college)
  • When you use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods (like shops, restaurants, and cinemas)
  • When you use transport
  • When you join a club or association (for example, your local tennis club)
  • When you have contact with public bodies like your local council or government departments

The 9 Protected Characteristics are actively promoted in school through:

  • Conscious role modelling by all adults in the school community
  • Active engagement and communication with parents and carers
  • British Values
  • Picture News
  • Discussion within curriculum subjects, taking a cross-curricular approach
  • Promoting articulation by building appropriate language and a coherent vocabulary
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) sessions
  • Religious Education (RE) lessons and RSE lessons
  • Sporting, Art and Cultural Events
  • Pupil Voice
  • Educational visits
  • Extra-curricular activities, after-school clubs and charity work
  • Embedding Protected Characteristics into the whole ethos promotes:
  • Self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence
  • Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
  • Acceptance of responsibility for their own behaviour
  • Respect for their own and other cultures
  • Understanding of how they can contribute positively to school and home life and to the lives of those living and working in the locality and further afield
  • An understanding of Equality, Human Rights and Protected Characteristics
  • An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
  • An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
  • An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination

Diverse & Inclusive Book Lists – Click each image