Pride Month 2023 – Best ideas and resources for schools
Educate pupils and celebrate LGBTQ+ pride this June with these activities, ideas and other resources…
- by Teachwire
Find everything you need to celebrate Pride Month 2023 with our expert pick of resources, advice and ideas from the chalkface…
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is all about celebrating LGBTQ+ culture as well as looking back on the struggles and rights violations that LGBTQ+ people have faced, and still face today.
When is Pride Month UK?
Pride Month 2023 takes place in June, both in the UK and all around the world. June was chosen as this was the month when the Stonewall uprising took place in 1969.
JUMP TO A SECTION:
- Primary resources
- Secondary resources
- More resources
- Set up your own Pride Group
- Bring LGBTQ+ role models into the classroom
Primary resources for Pride Month 2023
Create an LGBT-inclusive primary curriculum with Stonewall
If you’re looking to create an LGBT-inclusive primary curriculum, Pride Month 2023 is a great time to start. This free Stonewall guide can help.
There are also some excellent additional free-to-download PDFs available, such as this guide to working with parents, this framing inclusion through rights resource or this resource for schools with faith values.
Check out all the resources available here.
Proud to be Me! KS1/2 assembly and lesson ideas pack
Are your pupils proud of who they are? Use this assembly resource from Plazoom to explain what Pride Month is. Children will learn about celebrating love and accepting that everyone is different.
Explore how pupils in your classroom are different and celebrate these differences. You can also give pupils the opportunity to think about what makes them proud of themselves.
Resources from The Proud Trust
When talking to young LGBTQ+ people, The Proud Trust found that, often, at no point during their growing up were LGBTQ+ people ever visible or discussed.
This then meant that they lacked the language and terminology to help them understand and describe who they are. So if you don’t want the same for any children in your school, give these helpful resources a look.
Happily Ever After is a twist on a traditional fairy tale. It enables you to explore same gender relationships and equal marriage for KS2 pupils. The digital download contains everything you need to positively teach about same gender relationships and equal marriage with your class.
Alien Nation is a fun exploration of gender, gender expression, gender roles, and an explanation of different gender identities. The five lesson pack for KS2 contains everything you need to positively teach about trans, non-binary and cis lives.
Use them during Pride Month 2023, or any time, to cover these important topics in your classroom.
Families – LGBTQ+ Pride Month KS2 discussion and writing pack
This resource pack from Plazoom explores families and how all families are founded in love, no matter what they look like.
The activities will teach pupils that family units can vary. It covers blended families, single-parent families, families where parents are the same sex or families that have a mum and dad.
Children will draw pictures or create family trees showing who they live with. Then you can discuss images that challenge stereotypes of what a family should look like.
Nicola Adams KS1 resources pack
Use Pride Month 2023 to introduce KS1 pupils to sportswoman Nicola Adams. This resources pack from Plazoom looks at her achievements and how she is an inspirational person within and beyond the LBGTQ+ community.
Pupils will have the opportunity to develop comprehension skills using the questions linked to the biographical text. They will also consider how she has inspired others.
They will go on to discuss who inspires them, with opportunities to write about who is inspirational in their own lives.
Gender diversity lesson plan
This KS2 lesson plan from GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) is called Peter’s Story.
The core of the short story is Edward Lear’s famous ‘The Owl and the Pussy-Cat’ poem. The subtext is that the central character has a parent who has transitioned to live as a woman.
It helps young children better understanding gender diversity just as they should understand race, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
Secondary resources for Pride Month 2023
Read inspiring LGBTQ+ books
Make sure your library shelves are as inclusive as you’d like your school to be, with these empowering LGBT books..
Create an LGBTQ+ inclusive secondary curriculum
Bring LGBTQ+ inclusion alive and celebrate difference in your school classroom with this inclusive curriculum guide from Stonewall.
Learn how to embed inclusion into every area of your curriculum. This includes everything from choosing inclusive set texts in English to using LGBTQ+ inclusive statistics in maths.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ contributions to media, music and fashion
This free resource from the Proud Trust recognises and celebrates the lives and accomplishments of LGBT people in the fields of photography, film making, TV, music and fashion, whether that’s in front of the camera or behind the scenes.
Explore LGBT+ themes in film
Into Film developed this assembly for LGBT History Month. It can easily be extended and adapted into a lesson plan for Pride Month 2023 too.
Through the questions, issues and ideas raised in a selection of films, this assembly supports young people to discuss the impact and limitations of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act as the first step on the continuing journey towards equal rights for LGBT people.
There are also links to more Into Film resources for LGBT+ movies like the exceptional Carol and Tangerine.
More Pride Month 2023 resources
LGBTQ+ women and sportspeople
Also from Stonewall, these resources, tailored to KS1, KS2 and secondary, focus on the lives and work of some courageous LGBTQ+ women. You can download them as a lesson pack or as a home learning pack.
Want to use sports as an entry point during Pride Month 2023? These lesson packs for primary and secondary will help you explore and celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport.
This resource sheet on LGBTQ+ identities from Out in Education provides handy definitions on sexuality and gender. It goes on to explain how these should be seen as useful guidelines or starting points. In reality, identity is more fluid and complex.
It goes on to provide a more accurate model, and talks about ‘coming out’ and the use of pronouns.
Gender explained using continuums
This excellent infographic is part of a post called Breaking through the binary: Gender explained using continuums. You can download it as a PDF.
It’s packed with information on gender and is broken into three categories: identity, expression, and sex. As the post explains, “It’s less ‘this or that’ and more ‘this and that’.”
Supporting transgender kids in school
Use Pride Month 2023 to learn about how best to support trans children in school. The article includes advice from experts in the field, as well as case studies from parents and pupils.
You’ll also find lots of helpful resources and videos (such as the one above) too.
Set up your own Pride Group
Drama and personal development teacher Alison Ollett makes the case for why every school should have its own Pride Group…
LGBT+ is a hot topic. It’s on our TVs, in our social media feeds, in the headlines. But venture into many school settings, and you’d barely know that LGBT+ students and staff even exist.
That was certainly the case for me and my school of 1,700+ children, but in 2016 everything changed. That was the year in which I took on responsibility for LGBT+ inclusion at my academy.
From the very start, it’s been my intent to embed a whole academy approach. I wanted to ensure all of our students can fully develop their unique characters.
We’ve sought to champion LGBT+ inclusion in the years since. This includes updating academy policies, delivering staff training and developing a robust anti-bullying programme.
We’ve also organised academy-wide awareness events such as a LGBT History Month and School Diversity Week.
Through this work, we’ve been able to make effective changes that have had a positive impact on our students, while also developing a culture of acceptance – one in which diversity isn’t just acknowledged, but rightfully celebrated.
Setting up our Pride Group
It was at the height of the pandemic, when we were predominantly teaching remotely, that I started realising just how important the work we’d been doing really was.
A group of LGBT+ students reached out and requested that we develop an online Pride Group. They were missing the sense of community and support they’d had pre-lockdown.
I sent an email invitation out to all students, and thus Plume Pride was born. It’s our very own student-led LGBT+ and ally group and has since grown to over 60 student members.
The group currently holds weekly in-person meetings, arranges special one-off evening sessions and has an online team who are always available to students for assistance and sharing topical news.
Our Pride Group offers a safe space for students that enables them to meet with peers and seek support from staff.
Since the regular meetings began, many of our trans students have been able to start their social transition. Many of our LGBT+ students have received support when coming out to friends and family, navigating potentially challenging conversations and building crucial relationships with their parents and carers.
The group also provides family support, through which our staff can sit as student advocates in parent/carer meetings, in cases where conversations surrounding young people’s gender identity or sexual orientation can prove somewhat difficult and challenging.
One of the main lessons I’ve learnt from our Pride Group is how much representation matters. According to research by Just Like Us, pupils attending schools with strong positive messaging about being LGBTQ+ exhibit drastically better levels of wellbeing compared to other settings and feel safer. This is regardless of whether they happen to be LGBTQ+ or not.
Our Pride Group regularly meets at Friday lunchtime. Admittedly, there have been occasions when I’ve watched my colleagues make their way to the staff room and felt tempted to join them. But then the corridor outside my classroom becomes filled with giggles and chatter before a steady stream of students enters, all smiling and full of energy.
I return to my seat and watch as the room fills with students from each year group. Salutations and compliments criss-cross the room as they take their places in front of me.
As I sit and watch these amazing young people socialise, support each other and continue to change their academy for the better, I’m reminded of how thankful I am for the role I have as their facilitator.
Alison Ollett (pronouns: she/her) is a drama and personal development teacher. She’s also whole academy mental health champion at Plume, Maldon’s Community Academy in Essex. For more information on setting up a Pride Group, visit justlikeus.org or follow @JustLikeUsUK.
Bring LGBTQ+ role models into the classroom
Andrew Coe, former project leader for Out in Education, explains how a visit from an LGBTQ+ role model can help you to create a safe and inclusive classroom…
When “coming out” to a room of around 200 pupils, it is perfectly normal to experience some degree of apprehension.
Many of us who identify as LGBT+ did not get to bring our full selves to school. We spent years in the closet, attempting to blend in with the straight and/or cisgender majority of our peers.
For this reason, venturing back into this environment to educate today’s pupils about our identities can feel daunting. But the rewards are limitless.
This is the motivation behind student-led volunteering project Out in Education, based at the University of Nottingham.
Assemblies and lessons
Since 2013, they have visited 50+ schools to deliver assemblies and lessons on LGBT+ topics. This includes personal coming out stories, inclusive sex education, and anti-bullying workshops.
I had the pleasure of working with the project whilst studying physics at Nottingham, seeing the positive impact first-hand.
“The rewards are limitless”
One memorable example took place following a Year 8 assembly on different identities at a Nottingham secondary school. Soon after we had finished, one pupil came to the front to talk with us. They came out as bisexual for the first time.
To see such immediate effects, and to have given this pupil the confidence to come out so early in life – something which I was not able to do – was the greatest victory.
A regular feature of an Out in Education workshop is the ‘Anonymous Q&A’. This is where pupils write down questions which are answered by the volunteers at the end of the lesson.
This creates a far more organic learning process. Instead of relying on hypothetical situations, pupils hear about the personal experiences of others who have recently been through the school system themselves.
Unfailingly, pupils of all ages ask intelligent and thoughtful questions:
- How do you know when your real self shows?
- Do you prefer to be called gay/lesbian or normal?
- Did all of your friends accept you [when coming out]?
This creates conversations that are rewarding for both the pupils and volunteers.
Perhaps surprisingly, abrasive or inappropriate questions are rare. But they are usually along the lines of, “How do lesbians have sex?” or, “Can I have your number?”.
The tactic isn’t to ignore these. Instead, we either explain why they aren’t appropriate or, particularly for the former, to produce a sincere, matter-of-fact answer that is age appropriate.
It is never too early to introduce pupils to the concepts of gender and sexuality. If they haven’t already, every pupil will go on to encounter LGBT+ people in their lives. The concepts of love and living as your true self are approachable at any age.
Current standards are still failing a tremendous number of LGBT+ children across the country. According to the Stonewall School Report (2017), 45% of LGBT pupils in Britain’s schools are bullied for being LGBT, and two in five young transgender people have attempted suicide.
A mere 13% of LGBT pupils have learned about healthy relationships in a same-sex context, and three in five have never been explicitly taught that same-sex couples can get married.
For full-time educators, the pressures of teaching core subjects can be heavy enough without the additional responsibility of being fully inclusive.
How you can help pupils
The solution isn’t to reinvent the syllabus, but to instead make subtle changes to the language and presumptions that can exist in the classroom.
For example, it cannot be assumed that every pupil in the room will be straight and cisgender, and using gender-neutral language (eg ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’) can prevent feelings of alienation.
Also, never allow the word “gay” to be used in a derogatory context. Display a pride flag in your classroom to remind LGBT+ pupils that they are safe. Where lessons permit, include LGBT+ figureheads or themes, which are currently seldom seen outside of PSHE lessons.
Until LGBT+ inclusive education becomes a compulsory part of the curriculum, projects like Out in Education will continue to help create safe and inclusive classrooms.
The phrase, “Be who you needed when you were younger” runs through the core of the project, with the hope that future generations won’t have to suffer as they explore their identity, but instead be able to celebrate them safely and confidently.
Andrew Coe is former project leader for Out in Education. If you would like to book a visit to your school from Out in Education for Pride Month 2023 visit their website.