Woodside High celebrates International Women’s Day!
The work that students have done to celebrate International Women’s Day this year have been inspiring, energising and amazing! The International Women’s Day Committee once again designed and made their amazing badges with feminist slogans on them – and this year their designs were even more popular than last!
Woodside High students also hosted a very special Future Youth School forum. Future Youth School Forums are structured events led and organised by students, enabling them to explore issues, collaborate and share ideas for action on social justice issues. Woodside High hosted a forum last year on the theme of Refugees, and this year the theme was Gender Equality – and what better day to host it than on International Women’s Day!
Woodside High students have been working hard throughout the term to prepare for the forum. Not only are students at Woodside going to be creating their own campaign for better gender equality, but they also organised, coordinated and hosted the forum where students from Duke’s Aldridge Academy and the London Academy of Excellence attended. It was a considerable task but our students – as always – rose to the challenge. Students are very passionate about the topic and that clearly came through in their work. Tackling challenging global issues on gender equality, discussing global and local concerns and seeing what problems really need addressing and how – no small feat but one that all students embraced.
The day itself had many different, exciting elements. We were delighted to have Catherine West, MP, as our keynote speaker. She reflected on youth participation and voting rights for 16 year olds. She encouraged students to pursue their work and be a positive force for change.
In addition to exciting workshops and activities, students also organised an amazing exhibition which not only could the Forum students enjoy, but our whole school. Incredible photographs from across the globe were displayed, linked with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals on gender. The exhibition also included special videos for students to watch, a reading area with books on the history of women’s equality and a photobooth area where people could choose to make their own statement with some of the amazing placards that students had made.
Woodside, Dukes Aldridge and LAE students also took part in an international conference call with Leonardo Da Vinci Firenze School in Florence, Brentford School Forum participants and Sir John Lawes Forum participants – all of whom were having their forums also. It was a fantastic opportunity to share some of the work students were doing and really feel part of a global network taking part and working towards a shared goal.
As Abdillahi Ali, Year 10, put in his closing speech
“The most important thing about today is that it is a starting point. A starting point for all of us to involve ourselves and our schools in the movement for Gender Equality – because it’s such an important issue that can only be solved if we all work together. It takes action to change the views of others; we know that, and with that knowledge comes the understanding that we have the power to change our world for the better.”
The whole day was inspiring and moving. We cannot wait to see what happens next, and we are particularly excited as some of our students will be reporting back on their work at an international conference in Rome later this term! We know that the action that students will lead on will help to create a better world for us all.