Different Families, Same Love Competition

DFSL Competition Returns for May 2020!

The INTO LGBT+ Teachers’ Group are delighted to announce the return of the Different Families, Same Love competition for May 2020.
To mark International Family Equality Day (IFED) and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) we are asking teachers to take action in their classrooms between the 3rd and 17th May to celebrate the diversity of people and families in Ireland and to address LGBT+ based bullying in schools.


  • iPad for your class
  • Raffle for One4All voucher for all participating teachers
  • Hamper of books
  • Lots of runner up prizes!

Who Can Enter?

This competition is open to all primary schools and special schools.
Tá fáilte faoi leith roimh iarratais ó Ghaelscoileanna agus scoileanna Gaeltachta.
Entries from special schools are also welcome.


  • Junior: Infants to 2nd Class
  • Senior: 3rd to 6th Clas

How to Get Involved?

Competition entries, like our families, can take many forms so you and your students can choose to create individual, group or class projects based on the theme ‘Different Families, Same Love’.

Create Write Record

Entries will be judged on creativity and originality (20%), relevance to the theme (40%), the overall quality of the entry (30%) and how well the learning was shared with wider audiences (10%).

Steps to Success!

  1. Browse the recommended resources below
  2. Explore the theme ‘Different Families, Same Love’ with your class
  3. Share your learning with others (school/families/wider community)
  4. Download and complete the entry form
  5. Send the entry form and evidence of your project (photos, videos, mp3, children’s artwork, etc.) to:
    • Post:

Different Families, Same Love Competition,
INTO Equality Officer,
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation,
35 Parnell Square,
Dublin 1

Closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, 22 May 2020.

Recommended Resources

The Importance of Family in Ireland

Families are central to the formation of children’s identity and are the primary lens through which they view their world. ‘Myself and My Family’ is a core strand unit of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum. It is vitally important for all children to see their families represented in the course of these lessons. It is also essential to create a positive school climate that fosters respect and acceptance of all family structures.

Unfortunately, LGBT+ young people and children from families with same-sex parents often experience LGBT+ based bullying and prejudice in their schools and communities. Addressing different families through age-appropriate discussions and activities can help promote a more respectful environment in your classroom and in your school.

How Can Schools Make a Difference?

Teachers can influence attitudes by representing different identities in a positive light through classroom discussions and activities in SPHE as well as in other curricular subjects like English, Art, and Drama. The Anti-Bullying Procedures for primary schools and post-primary schools, have also been designed to give direction and guidance to school personnel in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour amongst its students.

When schools are proactive in preventing LGBT+ based bullying and strive to make all children and young people feel included, all students have a greater sense of well-being.

LGBT+ Based Bullying

LGBT+ based bullying has been found to be widespread in Irish schools. It affects those who are LGBT+, those perceived to be LGBT+, those raised in families headed by LGBT+ parents, those with LGBT+ friends or relatives, those perceived to be outside the norms that constitute “feminine” and “masculine” behaviour and those that witness the bullying as bystanders.

Research has shown that bullying impacts negatively on a child’s learning, their attendance at school, and their mental health and well-being. Experiencing bullying behaviour and minority stress (experiences of stigmatisation, discrimination, social exclusion and harassment) can be attributed to the development of low self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

What Can Teachers Do?

Help to promote the value of diversity, address prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying.

As teachers and educators, we want to promote an inclusive learning environment – one that empowers students, teachers and staff to celebrate difference and challenge prejudice. By using Different Families Same Love and other LGBT+ resources, implementing comprehensive anti-bullying policies, and focusing on inclusive language, you can help to safeguard a positive learning environment for all children in your school.