Embrace Your Colours-Stand Up Awareness Week 2023

November 15, 2023

Embrace your Colours and Stand Tall, was the message given to students in our school last week, as we celebrated Stand Up Awareness Week, with the charity Belong To. Our school is currently working towards achieving an LGBTQ+ quality mark status for the school with the charity organisation. This is an eighteen month programme which provides a comprehensive approach to developing an LGBTQ+ safe and supportive school. It is a reflection and recognition process designed to support post primary schools in their LGBTQ+ inclusion work. This year the school wanted to make the celebration bigger and better in order to create awareness in a positive and uplifting way.

Throughout the week in our SPHE classes, students learned about the importance of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and how it is vital to speak up and have a voice to support them. The theme of the awareness week with Belong To this year was ‘to be an ally’. Colours Festival at the end of the week really showcased this in abundance. Through interaction, connection, fun and bonding experiences on the day students got a real feel of the importance of being there for each other. Students were asked to embrace their colours and dress up in whatever colours they wished. It was a celebration of identity, and students were taught throughout this awareness week that in celebrating pride it is a powerful movement that embraces respect, acceptance, and equality for all. Students and staff were asked to stand tall and unapologetically embrace who they are, inspiring others to do the same. St. John’s hall was a hive of colour and activity, with something for everyone to enjoy and do. The creation of loom bands, nail painting, rainbow art, hair dye, face painting, giant jenga, table tennis and Just Dance fun, were to mention just a few of the activities that students who take part in.  The interaction of students and teachers together made it all the more a worthwhile experience, as everyone seemed to gain from the fun of the day. There were prizes for best dressed student and teacher.

Our school also ran an art competition for students to design a mural which will feature on a wall in the school during the New Year. The buzz and excitement overall made it a fun day for everyone and one that will be memorable for a long time. Our mission will always be that we are inclusive and supportive of everyone. The aim ahead now for the rest of the school year is to work hard to achieve the important quality mark status for the school, so watch this space!