Teaching Assistant Level 3
Every member of staff is responsible for ensuring that anti-discriminatory practice is endorsed in school and to identify when discrimination is occurring. The Children Act 2004 requires early years and other childcare facilities to promote an anti-discriminatory practice within that setting and also requires all adults who work with children to promote a child’s needs with paramount importance. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the framework which allows young children to achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes, it sets standards for; the education, growth and care that children should experience; equality of opportunity for every child and anti-discriminatory practice; partnership working; improving quality and consistency and lays a secure foundation for future learning for children. Within Parkhill School there are many children who originate from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, most of these children use English as an additional language so it is important that communication is effective by taking into account the child’s age, culture and understanding. We have an EAL co-coordinator in school and other teaching assistants who speak additional languages who will translate on behalf of the parents that do not speak English and are available for the parents and their child as part of a support network within our school, as well as helping to fill in any necessary forms or documents the EAL coordinator will read any important letters and relay any issues on a child’s development or achievements. When working in a school that has such a diverse cultural difference it is vital that a genuine interest is shown in a child’s lifestyle in order for the child to feel appreciated and valued and to recognize the differences in all cultures as well as sharing possible comparisons that we may have; children in all key stages have learnt about many different cultures, celebrations and festivals such as Diwali, Ramadan, Eid, Hanukah and Christmas, parents may visit school during these festivals and give children an insight into what their child may do during these religious events. Parkhill School also encourages that all children are given equal access to the school’s curriculum and every child within the school is encouraged to fully participate in all the activities whatever their gender or ethnic background, resources are provided that deliver positive images with regard to gender, race, faith, ability and social background
Discrimination is a harmful way in which another person is treated and should never be ignored or excused any more than we would tolerate physical or mental abuse on ourselves. Discrimination must be challenged immediately and dealt with, if we disregard this type of behaviour and it is not addressed then we are condoning the actions of another person and accepting the fact that is ‘okay’ to speak or behave in that manner.
In order to promote change we need to change people’s attitude toward other cultures, races, sexuality and faiths by trying to educate children in school about being a part of the many different cultures, faiths and disabilities in our society and encourage them to think of other people’s feelings and how they would feel if they were the one who was being discriminated against. By understanding how hurtful discrimination can be will only benefit us all as human beings and arm us with the knowledge and enable us to work together as one. It may be difficult and awkward to challenge any type of discrimination, particularly if we were to witness it from a colleague in school so it is vital that we consider how to deal with difficult situations like this, personally I would look at the policies and procedures of the setting, by doing this I would feel more confident and in control of the situation and be able to deal more effectively with situations of this kind if they were to arise. If I were to overhear a comment from a child then I would handle the situation in a entirely different manner, small children often make remarks without actually knowing what they mean therefore talking and explaining to them about the consequences of ‘hurting someone’s feelings’ or ‘making someone sad’ will usually resolve the situation. An understanding of just how damaging prejudice and discrimination can be will help you know why it's good to want things to change. This will enable people and organisations to refuse showing prejudice or discrimination against, or towards each other, rather they will want to work together knowing this will improve the outcomes for children's, and later adult's success, their well-being, ability to work posistively with others, work through problems/disagreements/conflicts without aggression and be happy with their choices and their life.
Adults can discriminate against others and show their prejudice in ways that hurt, harm. Children show how they've witnessed/seen and been influenced by this prejudice and demonstrate that learning, feeling it's ok, acceptable, normal for them show the same discrimination against others.
Intervene - firmly, knowing why you feel discrimination has occured.