The British Army is marking the start of Pride Month by urging secondary school teachers to download its free, award-winning resource, LGBTQ+ Voices. It helps students build upon their understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, including trans rights. The LGBTQ+ Voices aligns to the Gatsby Benchmarks for good careers education, creating a space for discussion of careers and workplaces through curriculum learning.
LGBTQ+ Voices has been downloaded more than 2,000 times since it launched last year and provides teachers with curriculum links to PSHE or Health and Wellbeing, Citizenship and History. It features both a lesson plan and an assembly with interactive tasks. Together, they aim to challenge perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community and help students aged 11–16 understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.
The award-winning resource enables students to explore the contributions of LGBTQ+ Army personnel past and present. It features four fascinating case studies, including Deborah Penny, the first trans soldier in the British Army.
Many teachers feel ill-equipped to answer any questions that students may have around trans rights. It is hoped that LGBTQ+ Voices will play an important contribution to the current debate. By giving students the tools that they need, they can play their part in addressing the inequality and discrimination felt by the trans community. Students will understand why being an LGBTQ+ ally is so very important, even if they don’t identify as LGBTQ+.
LGBTQ+ Voices was developed with teachers and support from the Army LGBTQ+ network. Teachers have remarked how the resources are “rich in information”. They offer “powerful” learning, are “self-contained” and are “simple to use”, especially for non-specialists and those less confident in discussing LGBTQ+ topics.
Lizy Watson, a lead practitioner for teaching and learning at Philip Morant School and College, said: “This resource challenges perceptions, linking modern day inclusion efforts with the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. The materials allow for discussion and reflection within the context of a self-contained presentation, making them well-suited to PSHE and history lessons or assemblies. It’s a powerful and engaging resource, without being overly complicated or time consuming. The links to modern day case studies and well-known historical figures will speak to a range of pupils and provide a unique perspective that can facilitate powerful conversations. As a form tutor myself, I consider this a ‘must use’ resource.”
Major Jennifer Close added: “LGBTQ+ Voices is part of the British Army’s dedication to addressing the inequalities within our organisation. We developed the free resource to help students understand the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive space for LGBTQ+ people – in and out of the classroom. Ethel Mary Smyth and Alan Turing are historical figures we all recognise. LGBTQ+ Voices addresses the selfless contributions of Ethel, Alan and every single LGBTQ+ service personnel. We do hope schools will choose to mark the start of Pride Month by downloading LGBTQ+ Voices.”
Teachers can download LGBTQ+ Voices for free at: https://bit.ly/3MUwfwE