Black Lives Matter
"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
Nelson Mandela - Long walk to Freedom
Message from Mr Masley
We believe that our school has a crucial role to tackling racism and other forms of discrimination. We are committed to standing against racism and injustice, alongside and in solidarity with the local and global Black community and anabling the children to be able to express and understand who they are and what racism actually is.
Many of you will have seen pictures of people protesting against this racist killing and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign that has shone a light again on racism, injustice and prejudice in our world. This has made people feel feel shocked, scared, angry and upset. Our job is to continue to shine this light in our school, give our children the tools to be able to share their feelings and understand the issues at their level.
We know that really positive things can happen in response to really awful things – people around the world are coming together to share their feelings and to call for changes so that this can never happen again. Racism is wrong and we need to stand up together against it. We believe in fairness, respecting one another and celebrating the wonderful diversity in our world, in our school community, our local communities and everywhere. Our school community here at Sacred Heart is united in love and respect for one another and we will always stand together.
Whilst we stand by these beliefs and see them as pillars of our ethos as a school we can do more. We will, in the coming months and years look to build a curriuclum that shines a light on injustice and enables children to always question and look to improve the world they will inherit for all. With the help and support of parents we can begin to make positve change and ensure that injustices continue to be highlighted and discussed.
In early September Mr Masley met with a group of parents to discuss how as a school we move forward with building the issues that the Black Lives Matter movement highlight. It was an extremely productive meeting where many aspects of school life were discussed. As a school we are looking to establish a curriculum that better represents black people throughout time and in the current era. The group and Mr Masley established a list of aims that the school will take forward with pupils and parents. The list includes:
- To build the curriculum so that it incorporates Black significant figures and charts their contribution that goes beyond only focusing on those who stood against racism and injustice
- To develop Black History month each October as a platform to build the wider all year round curriculum e.g. When teaching history, incorporate the Roman Africans in Britain, Black and Asian soldiers in the world wars, Black royals and Black authors
- Establish a working party of pupils who will meet to discuss BLM and current issues and share with the wider school
- Build sections on the school website and weekly newsletter than maintain a profile in the school
- Build in concepts of the BLM and white privilege into the PSHE curriculum using age appropriate methods
- Look at how to introduce journals or some form of reflection books that allow children to express themselves incorporating the using of affirmations
- Carry out a wider audit of resources used in school included in the school library
- Purchase a wider selection of books that are primary age
- Posters, poems, flyer or short video clip to highlight BLM – each month a different initiative that is highlighted on the website, dojo and newsletter
- Children to make links with other schools to raise profile
- Look to seek advice and support from other school settings where they are further ahead with developing this area
- Continue to encourage more parents to become active and involved
Black History Month
Each year, October is Black History Month and this section of the website outlines what learning the children have been doing.
Reception learned about each other’s famiies. One of the Early Learning Goals (ELG) for the children is to talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. Miss Wood asked parents to share a family photo on Tapestry along with a comment on anything they would like to share about family members. This could be where they or their family are from in the world, special achievements or interesting facts. The children had the opportunity to share during key person time.
Learning about each other’s family was linked with Black History Month and learning about all our different backgrounds.
Joseph Parker, one of our Reception children, shared his Grandfather's experience of Windrush and the Alford, his grandfather, appeared on zoom and children from across the school asked him questions.
Key Stage 1
In Key stage one our three classes learned about black history in the following ways:
- As part of the PSHE curriculum, children linked objectives such as learning what makes themselves and others special and being cooperative and responsibilities we have to others.
- They learned about the life of Ruby Bridges and how she was brave and what she must have felt.
- They explored fairness and looked at ways that black people have been treated unfairly in the past and now.
Learning in PSHE in year 3 took the form of exploring similarities and differences, community and belonging to groups. This led well into a focus on Black History Month where they:
- Learned aboiut Mary Seacole and why she was a significant person in history
- Leading up to the interview with Alford Gardner, the children learned about the impact of the Windrush on people's lives and explored what this meant for individuals.
In Year 4 during October, children learned through PSHE about important figures in black history such as Nelson Mandela. They found out what the term 'white privilege' means and how people celebrate their own culture and heritage and respect those of others. In learning about Nelson Mandela they saw how Apartheid was ended and saw teh symbolism of South Africa's Rugby world cup victory.
In year 5 there was some fabulous work on many aspects of Black Lives Matter and Black History month. The learning objective for the period were:
- To learn about stereotyping including gender
- To understand different love and different families
- To learn about prejudice and discrimination and how this can make people feel.
- To learn about important black figures from the past – Black History Month.
- To learn about the Notting Hill Carnival – Black History Month.
- To link past events to the current Black Lives Matter movement - Black History Month.
Year 6 covered the same topic areas as year 5 but took their understanding of teh issues further by exporign Rosa parks' experience further, freeze framing hwer thoughts and concerns and translating them into letters that you can see below: