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Posted on 9th February 2018
Teenagers are learning to be better citizens with a course looking at fairness, equality and prejudice.
The Hope Not Hate project is working with Forest Hall School, in Stansted, to open students’ eyes to UK politics and ways of life.
Weekly sessions challenge students to take part in tasks to spark debate and get them to consider different scenarios in both their local and wider communities.
Andrew Easter, subject lead for humanities, said: “We want to make our students more rounded people so they can go out into the real world and contribute to society. The idea is to open their eyes and make them more aware of the world around them.
“The project also helps students to better understand politics which is of benefit when it comes to house elections within school.”
During Year 9’s first session, they took part in a trading game where each team was unknowingly given inadequate equipment for the task, forcing them to trade with their classmates.
Owen Jones, from Hope Not Hate, has been working with the school since Christmas. He said: “The game is rigged so one team is destined to win from the outset to spark a discussion around fairness. That then leads on to looking at what is fair in society and how some people are not given adequate resources and yet are expected to achieve the same things. It’s about demonstrating peoples’ circumstances are not always black and white.
“By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of how prejudice and discrimination manifest themselves. They will take away with them tips to help make their communities more inclusive and friendly places to live.”
Originally from Canada, but growing up in Essex, Mr Jones told students how it was attending university in Leicester which got him thinking about equality.
He said: “Leicester is the most multi-cultural city outside of London and is where I learned the idea of everyone having a fair chance in life and removing barriers which stop them achieving what they want in life.”