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My Story

I am Sabaa, an English teacher in Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, training through the Teach First programme. In my first summer holidays as a teacher, I have been interning at The Story Project. I am extremely privileged to have this role, one where I hope I have been able to make a real difference and impact on the organisation and where my interests and priorities in inclusion and diversity have been used as a strength to invigorate the project.

 

My Background

My interests lie in inclusion and diversity, shining the light on those who are underrepresented and ensuring there is real equality and accessibility for all. For my undergraduate degree dissertation, I focused on the exclusion of diverse voices in the GCSE English Literature curriculum, highlighting the ‘whiteness’ of it. It was an immense research project, whereby I interviewed groups of teachers and students and worked through transcripts to get to my findings. I found that young people of colour felt their voices were sidelined, that they had to assimilate and that this impacted their enjoyment and engagement in the subject. I found that teachers felt they had a lack of autonomy, that the course was regressive and that it favoured narrow experiences. This dissertation taught me many things, but more importantly made me realise that the way to enact change was to become part of the system and see what was causing the hold up. I am buoyed on every day by the young people I teach, who come from a plethora of backgrounds and experiences, but share the common goal of acceptance.

 

 

My Role

I was tasked with assessing the provision and resources that the Story Project currently have. This was a really enjoyable task as I got to delve into the different texts and activities, and it filled me with joy to see the range of stories young people would cover. From stories about different types of families, to religious celebrations to new siblings, it was very special to do this audit as it was so clearly a well thought out and diverse set. I then was tasked with looking at EDI policies of similar organisations, especially educational settings and then created my own for the project. It really allowed me to think of all aspects of inclusion and accessibility. I hope it will be useful for the organisation going forward. My final priority was to create my own resources, focusing particularly on diversity and inclusion. This was an amazing opportunity, especially as I got to think about resources for the eagerly awaited secondary programme.

 

My Hope

Though it was a short internship, over a summer that was jam-packed, I won’t forget the experience. I am really looking forward to seeing what The Story Project and Olivia do in the future and will keep an eye out for any and everything they do. I am also very hopeful that with the soon to be launched secondary programme, that I will have even more of a reason to be linked to the project, by using its resources with my own students in Doncaster!

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