Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa

Issue: Volume 102, Number 7

Posted: 6 June 2023
Reference #: 1HAaFW

Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is led by InsideOUT, a national organisation that works with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all Rainbow young people.

Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is taking place from 12–16 June in 2023.  
Why is celebrating Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa important?  
Up to 20 percent of learners in Aotearoa identify as members of the Rainbow community, and evidence shows that these young people experience significantly higher rates of bullying. The majority of Rainbow ākonga also say they don’t feel they belong or are supported at school. 
Schools’ Pride Week is an opportunity to support Rainbow ākonga and staff in your school or kura and highlight values such as inclusion, diversity and acceptance. It aims to celebrate and affirm Rainbow identities, help Rainbow ākonga develop a sense of belonging at school and with their peers, and reduce experiences of bullying and distress for Rainbow ākonga. 
How can your school celebrate Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa?  
Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa shares a range of ways schools can celebrate. Suggested activities include shared lunches, bake sales, colouring in activities, creating rainbow displays around the school, mufti-day fundraisers, movie screenings and erasure poetry sessions. We encourage you to tailor these activities to your own school culture and create a space where ākonga can bring their own ideas as well. Visit link) for more information about how your school or kura can take part. 

Ending Rainbow Bullying Workbook 

The Ministry of Education funded InsideOUT to develop an Ending Rainbow Bullying Workbook to assist schools to create inclusive and caring learning environments for all students. The recently released workbook can be found at link).

Rainbow ākonga in Education Gazette

Education Gazette has written a number of articles to show how schools and kura can support Rainbow ākonga across Aotearoa.

photo with words 'celebrating'


Creating rainbow-inclusive schools(external link)

Research in New Zealand and overseas has shown that young people who identify as part of the rainbow community are more likely to experience bullying and mental health issues. Published in 2019. 

Out on the Shelves(external link)

Books by rainbow authors, with rainbow themes and characters, feature in an online resource which gives members of the LGBTQIA+ community the opportunity to read stories about themselves. Published in 2019. 

Ākonga embrace important kaupapa of relationships and sexuality education(external link)

Learning about healthy and happy relationships, and the diverse expressions of gender and sexuality is central to wellbeing, and it’s something many ākonga are passionate about. Education Gazette hears from two schools about how Relationships and Sexuality Education is meeting this passion and guiding important kōrero. Published in 2022.

More articles

  • A loud silence(external link) (2019): Students and teachers will be silent for a day to make a big noise about the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and harassment in schools.
  • A safe stage(external link) (2023): Relationships and sexuality education can be a confronting topic for kaiako and ākonga, but a new Auckland Theatre Company stage production and the way in which it approaches consent can help to tackle difficult discussions alongside a well-planned relationships and sexuality education programme delivered by teachers.
  • Realtionships and sexuality education by Māori, for Māori(external link) (2022): RSE programme Te Ira Tangata is designed for kura, whānau and kaiako to be able to adapt to the needs of their kura community.

Curriculum guidance and resources

Relationships and Sexuality Education: a guide for teachers, leaders and boards of trustees (2020)(external link) is clear that all people have the same rights and freedoms regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics. The guidance includes information for teaching and learning about gender and sexuality across the curriculum. 

Mental health education: A guide for teachers, leaders and school boards (2022)(external link) is clear that all people have the same rights and freedoms regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics. It also includes guidance on policy and pedagogy to provide safe and inclusive environments for rainbow ākonga, including a section on approaches to mental health education for LGBTQI+ ākonga.

Frequently queried topics – Relationships and Sexuality guidelines (Years 1-8, Years 7–10, Years 9-13)(external link) has several sections that contain information relevant to teaching and learning around rainbow identities and for working with rainbow learners, including:

  • Dealing with objections from the community
  • Topics such as gender identity, sexual orientation, masturbation, pornography
  • The need for education around gender identity and diversity
  • Single-sex or co-educational RSE
  • LGBTQIA+ affirming RSE

The resource discusses topics including coeducational learning vs. separating ākonga by gender, norms in how discussions around relationships and sexuality can be framed, understanding that rainbow ākonga are not always visible, and engaging with diversity groups. 

Effective pedagogy in relationships and sexuality education(external link) supports the RSE guidelines with specific strategies and activities. These include sharing ideas, engaging ākonga in critical thinking, values exploration and inquiry-based investigation and exploration. 

Relationships and sexuality education | key learning and the underlying concepts of Health and Physical Education(external link) supports the RSE guidelines with key learning statements to support planning of learning programmes, and outlines that as their learning progresses, ākonga can look at topics including inclusive practices to support gender and sexual diversity, examining media representation of gender and bodies, and strategies to affirm diversity and support gender and sexual identity.

Relationships and sexuality education progressions(external link) also supports the RSE guidelines by focusing on the learning progressions from levels 1-8 within RSE. Includes guidance around learning that includes discussing both same and opposite sex relationships and inclusive school policy around gender and sexuality.

Our Stories: LGBTQIA+ Aotearoa New Zealand histories resource(external link) includes links to videos and articles about the rainbow community throughout history, and guidance for teaching and learning around these topics. Advises kaiako to be sensitive when discussing discrimination and anti-queer abuse, and to design curriculum in a mana-enhancing way. 

Effective practice showcases(external link): Six videos from six different schools about how they are using the RSE guides. Beckenham School | Te Kura Pūroto in particular has a video themed around ‘Inclusive school culture’.

Supporting LGBTIQA+ students(external link) is a teacher facing webpage providing information about supporting rainbow students and external resources such as interviews with rainbow young people, guidance documents, graphics, and more, to support teachers and school leaders create inclusive learning environments.

Creating rainbow-inclusive school policies and processes(external link) is a resource for school boards, leaders, teachers, guidance counsellors, and school communities – provides information on how schools can set up frameworks for rainbow inclusion with specific information on legal rights and responsibilities and guidance on school policy including uniforms, bathrooms, sports, out of the classroom events and learning opportunities, and pronouns and names.

Making Schools Safer: A practical resource for schools on supporting transgender, gender diverse, and intersex students in Aotearoa(external link) provides fundamental information about the intersections between sex, gender, variations of sex characteristics, identity, and culture and how school staff can support safety and inclusion for rainbow students. 

Staff Supporting Rainbow Diversity Groups(external link) includes information about the functions of rainbow diversity groups and how staff can support them in different roles. Includes what this may look like in a range of schools including faith-based, rural and private, how to facilitate youth leadership and how the group can adhere to basic tikanga.

Ending rainbow-focused bullying and discrimination(external link) is a workbook for schools creating inclusive and caring learning environments - provides practical advice and frameworks that schools can use to help them create environments free from rainbow-focused bullying and discrimination.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 10:25 am, 6 June 2023

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