Yesterday BeLonG To launched All Together Now, Ireland’s first ever anti-LGBT bullying resource for primary schools. This project was created in response to LGBT young people telling us about their difficult experiences in primary school.
The lesson plans and full All Together Now! research report, developed by Dr. Bernie Collins, Dr. Seline Keating and Prof. Morgan from St Patrick’s College (DCU), are available for all primary school teachers to download for free at www.belongto.org/primary.
All Together Now! was funded by the Department of Education and Skills and with education partners including the INTO. Following a very successful pilot programme, BeLonG To are encouraging primary schools across the country to avail of this innovative, effective, and free anti-bullying resource, which forms part of the SPHE curriculum.
All Together Now! is composed of four lessons based in the SPHE curriculum for 5 th and 6 th classes in primary schools. The lessons take an equality and human rights approach to respect, inclusion and homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Teachers’ assessment of children’s learning was enthusiastic:
‘The children reacted brilliantly in the lessons. They showed a maturity I hadn’t expected and they felt almost ‘empowered’ when they learned the little things they do could help to make a stand against all types of bullying’ (6th Class teacher.)
‘The children came out of the lesson with a hugely positive attitude towards making a stand against bullying and to me that was a success.’ (6th Class teacher)
BeLonG To know from their work with young people that going to school can be a difficult experience, and that anti-LGBT bullying is common.
The LGBTIreland research found that 67% of Irish LGBT students witnessed bullying of other LGBT students in their schools, and 50% had personal experience of the same. They also know from this research that there is a direct link between bullying and the significantly higher rates of self-harm and suicide for LGBT young people.
The report confirmed that addressing homophobia and transphobia is urgent for primary schools, as 12 is the most common age for LGBT young people in Ireland to discover their sexual orientation.
Young people have been telling BeLonG To for some time now that there is a need to begin tackling this problem in primary schools. All primary school teachers are strongly urged to take advantage of All Together Now!