At Bute, we endeavour to build a community where students feel that their voices are heard and they are fully seen for who they are. We believe that these relationships foster learning environments where our students are at ease taking risks and collaborating. Research demonstrates that creating these environments must be deliberate. Each individual in a community brings something distinct to the group. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our students to develop relationships across these differences and perceive diversity as a strength.
One of the ways that we promote diversity at Bute is through our Windows and Mirrors programme. Here, students and their families have the opportunity to come to school and respond to the question ‘How do you want us to know you?’ Following each conversation, staff facilitate a discussion for students to identify ‘windows’ and ‘mirrors’. The Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) Project uses the terminology ‘mirrors and windows’ as follows: ‘Mirrors are stories that reflect your culture/reality and help you understand yourself. Windows offer you a view into someone else’s experience. We all need both in our lives. When you only have mirrors, your worldview lacks the beauty of a wide range of perspectives. When you only have windows, you feel like you don’t belong. But when you see life through this lens and make room for both windows and mirrors, a rich, diverse, global world reveals that there are multiple ways of being.’ It has been fascinating to learn about our wonderful families and their histories, religious celebrations, cuisine, traditions and family structures.
We firmly believe that inclusion isn’t just about being present; it’s about actively participating, learning, and growing together. All of our students, regardless of their age, abilities, sexuality, or race, are an integral part of our community. Our classrooms are welcoming spaces where everyone is valued, respected, and supported. We encourage parents, students, and staff to collaborate in creating an environment where all children can thrive. Together, we are working to foster empathy, build bridges, and prepare our students to be responsible, compassionate, and engaged citizens of the world. Our Learning Powers underpin all that we do.