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LGBT+ children's author visits Jersey

04 September 2019

Olly books

Children’s Author and creator of Pop’n’Olly, Olly Pike, is visiting Jersey for the first time and is offering a set of his LGBT+ books to all primary schools as part of his visit for Channel Island’s Pride, which is taking place on Saturday 7 September.

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois, Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec and Assistant Education Minister Jeremy Maçon have all welcomed the offer of these books, which aim to enlighten young minds with knowledge of diversity and equality and which form part of Relationships Education in schools.

Assistant Education Minister Deputy Maçon will join Olly in the Jersey Library, on Friday 6 September, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm for the presentation of these books.

Pupils in Key stage 1 and 2, in Jersey, are already taught about how to develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships, within a range of social/cultural contexts. The curriculum also teaches primary age children to recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships and how to respect equality and diversity in relationships.

Deputy Jeremy Maçon said: “We are delighted to welcome Olly Pike to Jersey. These books are hugely important to ensure that LGBT+ educational books are available to schools who would like to have this resource. These are resources that will share a more respectful, accepting society for future generations and we are grateful of this gift.

“Jersey has a very specific curriculum and we are ahead of the UK and other places in terms of same-sex education. There are several differences with the National Curriculum in England. One key difference is that Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), including Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World, is and has always been a statutory part of the curriculum in Jersey.”

Olly’s visit, and a set of five books which will be offered to all Island primary schools, is being funded by the sponsorship of MasonBreese, a professional change management business based in Jersey. 

Olly Pike said: “I can’t wait to visit Jersey and am really grateful for this opportunity provided by Channel Island’s Pride and MasonBreese to present a set of my books to Jersey Library and offer this educational resource to primary schools. One of my most popular books, Prince Henry, which started as an animation on the Pop’n’Olly YouTube channel, is now being used in British schools to educate against prejudice. I am thrilled to be invited to Jersey and join in the Channel Island’s Pride parade and leave a lasting legacy in the island with my books.”

Jimmy Kelly, Director at MasonBreese, said: “I’m delighted that MasonBreese have been able to provide the opportunity for Olly to come to Jersey, and for his books to be offered to all primary schools on the Island. MasonBreese is an ardent supporter of equality and ongoing education, and we already have a strong established relationship with University College Jersey. We hope that these books are a useful resource, and will provide a lasting and positive legacy for Island students."

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