As a diverse and internationally-minded school community, we seek to broaden the perspectives of our pupils and celebrate individuals from across the globe. Black History Month provides an excellent opportunity for our pupils to engage and grapple with these issues: it seeks to recognise the contribution and achievements of black persons, which are often absent from or an afterthought in mainstream history textbooks. This year, pupils across the country were encouraged to explore Black History around the theme 'Proud to Be'.
Throughout October, the History Department organised a variety of projects and events to tie in with these themes, helping pupils to broaden their perspective on the past. Year 7 looked at Miranda Kaufman's Black Tudors, which explores figures such as John Blanke the Trumpeter, Diego the Circumnavigator, Mary Fillis the Moroccan convert, and Cattelena of Almondsbury; Year 9 created infographic posters about other key figures, such as Bessie Coleman, Jesse Owens and Steve Beko; and Years 4, 5, 8 and 10 focused on US history, looking at Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and the Ku Klux Klan. Inspired by their study of segregation and the Jim Crow Laws, the Year 10 pupils even took the voting literacy test, designed to prevent black people from voting. Suffice to say that none of the students came close to answering the 30 questions in ten minutes! Our Junior pupils, too, have been engaged in discussions around civil rights leaders and more. All in all, it has been a thought-provoking and stimulating month.