School highlights achievements of world's leading gay figures
"What," asks the teacher, "have Sir Elton John, Alexander the Great, William Shakespeare and Clare Balding got in common?"
Other slides flash up at the front of the class: Sir Ian McKellen, Julius Caesar, Martina Navratilova, Richard the Lionheart, Oscar Wilde and Pam St Clement (EastEnders' Pat Butcher).
After some discussion, the answer arrives: they are all gay, lesbian or bisexual – Shakespeare is said to have been bisexual, this class is told – and they all feature in a new drive pioneered at a north London comprehensive which is trying to stamp out homophobic bullying.
The programme at the 1,350-pupil Stoke Newington School is proving so successful that it is quickly being snapped up by other schools.
"We had noticed that students were using the way 'gay' in the playground and it was seen as a term of abuse," said headteacher Annie Gammon.
Elly Barnes, the teacher who devised it, is now training staff from across the country to use the material. She has even had an approach from a school in Perth, western Australia.
The way the programme works at Stoke Newington is that all pupils attend joint assemblies on the issue and then it is fed into the curriculum of different subjects during a month set aside for stressing the contribution of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in history.
The school devised special lessons for teachers in every subject. In computer technology, they fixed on the story of Alan Turing, the mathematician at Bletchley Park, who cracked German codes during the Second World War, who was gay.
As homosexuality was illegal, he was thrown in prison, eventually agreeing to female hormone treatment as an alternative to being locked up. He later killed himself.
In music, they play Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat – the story of a gay boy ejected from the family home. The school, a specialist media and arts college, also used Brokeback Mountain, the film about two gay cowboys, to further explore the issues.
"It is something that can be swept under the carpet," said 16-year-old Kelly Grew. Jo Farrelly, 11, added: "It does help your understanding and I think everybody should have these lessons. By explaining it to kids they understand." Another said: "I didn't want to be associated with people who were gay or lesbian, but now I'm comfortable about it." Ms Gammon added: "One parent saw homosexuality as a sin and didn't want their child to be part of lessons. We had a discussion and their child participated. We are not a religious school and I feel it is a human rights issue."
The school plans to use the same approach to the subject of disability, using famous role models such as Professor Stephen Hawking.
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...
Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...
£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...
£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...