Loreto College is a Catholic Sixth Form College established to serve the needs of 16-19 year old Catholic students in the surrounding areas. The College accesses a number of 16-19 year old students of other faiths and non-faiths who are sympathetic to the Catholic ethos. The College serves the needs of students with learning differences and disabilities and provides open access to appropriate programmes and courses. Upon entry to the College all students have equality of opportunity.
The College will ensure that the curriculum and teaching delivery will be planned to maintain equality of opportunity for all students and that all materials used will be free from any discriminatory assumptions, images, language and stereotyping.
Within the tutorial programme, students will be provided with information about the full Equal Opportunities Policy and their role and rights as a Loreto student.
The College will ensure that there are no barriers which might inhibit any student from lodging an appeal against any alleged contravention of the Policy.
Cultural Appreciation Day
Cultural Appreciation Day is an annual Loreto College event when students and staff get together to celebrate our rich and diverse college community. Students are encouraged to wear traditional clothing and share their food, music and artistry with their peers. Excitement had been building steadily for days, encouraged by a week-long social media campaign featuring students and teachers sharing their personal views on their culture, which was also displayed digitally around campus. When the day finally arrived at the end of April, the campus was awash with wonderfully attired students (and staff), sporting big smiles and bags of enthusiasm that lasted all day.
The event culminated in a culturally attired fashion show at lunchtime, with a crowd of 300+ students gathering in the sports hall to watch and cheer on their friends, as they proudly strutted and danced along the catwalk to their music of choice, while a student MC voiced their thoughts on what their culture meant to them. We had representations from over 20 different countries.
Loreto College’s annual Respect Week has a different focus each year. We recently focussed on Interfaith dialogue. Given Loreto College’s diverse nature, the theme of Interfaith was an appropriate choice for this year’s Respect Week, perfectly echoing the Mary Ward values of Internationality, Freedom, Sincerity and Justice.
The range of events on offer during the week, gave our students the chance to not only tackle challenging issues, but to celebrate and share their own faiths and cultures, while developing a greater understanding of the different groups within our college community. We also had guest speakers discussing the issue of cultural appropriation from contrasting perspectives, and visitors who explored the history of the Muslim community in Manchester.
As Respect Week coincided with Ramadan, the College had a wonderful opportunity to host an Iftar, when Muslims break their fast at sundown. This was a joyous event with nearly 100 students and staff taking part. The generosity of our students and their families was amazing; they brought so much food for everyone to share, that we were able to donate what was left to the local Kurdish Centre and Cornerstone charity.
Pride at Loreto
There are many wonderful people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, ranging from iconic celebrities to our peers and friends here at Loreto, and we hope to celebrate all that is wonderful about them. In recent Pride Celebrations students and staff participated in a poster competition to celebrate their LGBTQ+ hero – by researching a member of the LGBTQ+ community who inspires them and creating a poster celebrating them and their achievements. The posters have been printed and shared around the college with staff from the Equality group choosing a winner in time for our return to college in the Autumn.
We held screenings of Heartstopper and Pride to celebrate the steps forward in positive representation for the LGBTQ+ community in mainstream TV and Film. Finally, following the success of our Cultural Appreciation Day, we asked students and staff to “Dress in the Rainbow” to celebrate the representation of our LGBTQ+ community in college. Once again, our students showed up with commitment and creativity for a celebration with their peers and staff.
All our EDI events in 2023 have been a joy and a success and we look forward to growing our Equality Group throughout the next academic year and continuing to support and celebrate all of the students in our exceptional community here at Loreto. We are currently planning for future events including those to celebrate Black History Month, International Men’s Day, International Women’s Day and Neurodiversity Celebration Week.