As you may know Black History Month in the UK takes place during October each year to recognise and celebrate the achievements of African and African Caribbean communities. It’s also a chance to help us all be more aware of issues affecting culturally diverse communities like Bishop Stopford’s and to share our experiences to help us be an even closer family.
This year we continued our themes of ‘Black History Month is every month’ and ‘If you know your history, you know where you are coming from’ and also discussed a new theme – ‘Black and British.’
Please click on the link below to view our Black History Month assembly which borrowed the famous poem by Benjamin Zephaniah – ‘The British’ – to highlight our rich history and help make all of our students more aware of the rich diversity in our school and the importance of knowing more about where you are from.
Each department was asked to mark Black History Month by ensuring some time was spent in lessons reflecting on our diversity whether it be in English, Science, Art or Geography. Year 8 students have been taking part in a special series of lessons exploring black history in conjunction with an organisation called Holler UK.
The English Department launched their ‘Lit in Colour Lending Library’ as part of our Black History Month celebrations.
Bishop Stopford’s School is one of only 100 schools nationwide that have been chosen to take part in the first-ever Lit in Colour Pioneers programme sponsored by Pearson/Edexcel – our English exam board. Created in partnership with the publishing company, Penguin Random House UK, and The Runnymede Trust, an equality think tank, the programme is designed to highlight and prioritise the importance of a diverse English Literature curriculum.
It is really important that our students are given access to books by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic writers and those from a range of backgrounds to ensure that our curriculum and resources better reflect contemporary culture and society and provide our students with a broad range of experiences that traditionally they might not have had access to.
As part of this initiative the school has been provided with a Lit in Colour mini library including 300 free Penguin books by Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers designed for all age groups.
Some of our Year 10 students shared their book choices with us!
“I am reading “Who Are We? How Identity Politics Took Over the World” by Gary Younge. I chose this book because it is an interesting topic that is important because we are all shaped by our identities , even sometimes unconsciously, and should be aware of how that affects our viewpoint and world.”
Eva, Year 10
“I am reading “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith. I chose it because it features lots of different cultures. I like it because it is tale of friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations.”
Eliezer, Year 10
“I am reading “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I chose this book as the title resonated with me as a Black British citizen. I like that the book shares lots of similarities with my own opinions. This book would be great for those who aren’t black to read as it shares personal experiences.”
Chelsea, Year 10
“I am reading “Of Women: In the 21st Century” by Shami Chakrabarti. I chose it because it explores gender equality in today’s society. I like that the book provides a lot of information about gender injustice and inequality.”
Wale, Year 10
Our ultimate goal for the year again is long term – so we will be ensuring our school celebrates its diversity and inclusivity all through 2021-22.