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Community “Hidden Figures Project” with artist Danny Bench

During half term, our EDI Student Committee launched our community arts project with Ingatestone community. With the help of Jane Winter and the Parish Council, we have secured funding to support a joint collaboration to promote diversity, equality and Inclusion on our High Street and in school. The EDI committee chose 12 inspirational figures who represent the 12 protected characteristics. They are “hidden” because they have often led, created or achieved amazing things with comparatively little recognition for their significant contribution to society. Our students have been exploring their lives and ensuring that their faces are visible in our school and local communities, using their lives to promote inclusion and celebrating their diversity and their contribution to our lives, giving them the recognition they deserve.

The hidden figures chosen by our students are:-

The project has involved creating designs with our EDI Committee to create a unique design outside the main hall celebrating our learner profile attributes, a black stencil image of Malala with the slogan “Use Your Voice” to promote the importance of student voice in the school, 5 stencil pictures of key figures “Banksy style” in the dining room to promote diversity and inclusion and two larger boards promoting our hidden figures and the importance of community in supporting inclusion. These will be displayed in the shop windows in the Co-operative in Ingatestone and then transfer to the school site.

These have caused quite a reaction from both students and staff. Below are some quotes from students:

I think Danny and all the students that participated did an excellent job and I love how the school looks, its nice to see inspiring faces around the school.”

In my opinion, I think the artwork around the school makes the school environment more welcoming and reflects on the diversity, equality and inclusion we share as a whole at Anglo European School. Making awareness of people who are an inspiration is very important. I think through the wonderful artwork Danny Bench has done around the school, Anglo is now able to showcase these inspirational people in a wonderful and artistic way.”

I think these artworks are an excellent representation of what Anglo’s mindset is about. It is important to keep embracing the unique diversity and cultures we have in our school, and the inspiring figures are a good representation of this.”

They really allow a lot of our students to connect with Anglo, find inspiration and grow some degree of confidence that they can be the next best success story. The murals have shaped Anglo further into a creative but comfortable atmosphere, and even showcases the diversity and cultural differences within the students at our school, which adds to our uniqueness and international ethos.”