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Black History Month

Date Posted: Tuesday 11 October 2022

To mark Black History Month the School has created a range of learning opportunities and activities to encourage discussion and to widen perspectives.

To explore the theme of ‘Sharing Journeys’, Prep School children will be learning about significant moments in history by using resources from Pre-Prep pupils will be joining professional storyteller and educator Usifu Jalloh, aka The Cowfoot Prince, on an imaginative journey around Africa through a live streamed storytelling event.

In a book display in the Senior School’s Somerville Library, librarians have foregrounded the important literary contributions of Sam Selvon and Langston Hughes, and are also celebrating the autobiography of Mary Seacole. Year groups have marked Black History Month with assemblies and student-led discussions. In Year 12, for example, 12JK students celebrated the life of Kent-born Walter Tull who was a professional footballer before becoming the first black officer in the British Army. In GCSE PE, pupils have been introduced to the achievements of Jack Leslie, who was the first black football player to be picked for England.

In French lessons, Year 10 have been exploring French speaking countries and are debating the consequences of colonisation. In the Creative and Performing Arts Faculty, Year 8s have been celebrating African influences in music, while GCSE Music students have been learning about the eighteenth century composer Joseph Boulogne.

Year 7 Geographers are undertaking a continent study of Africa this month where they focus on colonisation and are taught about the 1881 Conference in Berlin. They will also explore and analyse the slave trade, before considering the ways in which colonisation is still impacting the continent today. Following this, students will turn their attention to locations such as the Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro. The unit ends with a lesson exploring the livelihoods of the Maasai tribe and an activity where students give consideration to traditional building materials, designs and craftmanship.

In English lessons on ‘Of Mice and Men’ students have reflected on the 1930s historical context and the author’s representation of marginalised figures. Elsewhere in KS3 English lessons pupils have been considering important debate topics such as how people can work together to be powerful allies and advocates for equality.