As you know, October is Black History Month. In school we have been celebrating the achievements of influential black people from Preschool to Year 6.
In Preschool, the children have been celebrating differences by listening to the story of Patch the Pumpkin and they have linked this to Black History Month by talking about what makes us all unique. They learnt that Patch the Pumpkin was teased because he was born with a heart patch on his skin, this made Patch feel sad and lonely. Patch did not want others to feel like this so he created a 'Peace Club' with 4 simple rules: 1. Be Kind 2. Share 3. Be Helpful 4. Include. These are rules that we should all follow.
Our Reception children have been learning that Marcus Rashford. They learnt about how he used his childhood experiences and his influence to call on government ministers to help families with young children get access to free school meals during school holidays. He said, Just look at what we can do when we come together." In their Literacy Development work, they wrote describing words around a poster of him.
In Year 1, they have celebrated black history month by learning about Rosa Parks. Year 1 created a bus in the classroom and were told that the children with hats on could only go at the back and they couldn't talk to anybody without a hat on. You then allowed one of the children with hats on to go on the seats at the front of the bus but as another non hat passenger came on the bus they had to give their seat up for them and stand up. You talked about how this was unfair and what the hat child should do. A lot of you said that they should say 'no' and you then learnt that this is exactly what Rosa Parks said. You listened beautifully about the story of Rosa Parks and how she stood up for herself and all of the black people in America who were being treated very badly at the time. You were all very shocked to learn how black people were not treated equally and a lot of you thought this story was not a real- life story. One quote stuck out the most in the lesson which was 'You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right'. This lesson left us feeling very empowered to include everyone and to never let anyone feel separated.
In Year 2, they took some time to focus on a very special person . . . Martin Luther King. Year 2 found out about his incredible story and produced some artwork around this. Our artwork represents the fact that we are all different on the outside, but so similar on the inside.
Year 3 also learnt about Martin Luther King. They discussed his dreams and why they were important. They talked about their own dreams for the future and created some beautiful artwork to celebrate his achievements.
Just like Reception, our Year 4 children also focused on Marcus Rashford. The Year 4 class loved this because they knew who he was and what he had done for us. They started their lesson by thinking about what they already knew about the famous football player. The children knew a lot. They then went on to learn about why he is so important to us now and what he has done. The children watched a video of an interview with Marcus when he explained why he has worked to get free school meals for children in need. They talked about the qualities Marcus had and what made him important. Finally, they wrote a list of characteristics to describe him on the board and used these to designed their own football kits to represent Marcus Rashford, who he is and what he stands for.
Year 5 weaved their Victorian unit with Black History Month and learnt about a famous Victorian called Mary Seacole. They learnt that she overcame many obstacles in order to follow her calling to build the 'British Hotel' which was a hospital and place of rest-bite for wounded soldiers during the Crimean war. The obstacles she faced were due to the prejudices people held about her race and gender. For example, on her journey to Britain she was refused passage on a ship because she was black. To understand why white people treated her differently, Year 5 also learnt about the slave trade. They learnt that even though the slave trade was abolished in Britain during the Victorian era, Victorian daily life was still linked to those who were enslaved in America. By the end of the lesson, the whole class agreed that Mary Seacole is a wonderful example of determination and resilience.
In Year 6, they celebrated Black History Month by being introduced to Jesse Owens. Jesse Owens was from Alabama and was one of 10 siblings. He rose to fame as an impressive athlete but was judged because of his colour. Jesse Owens went on to challenge racism on the world stage at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and made new records to the annoyance of Adolf Hitler. This story inspired Year 6 to create their own artwork to celebrate his achievements.