During the month of October, as part of Black History Month, our pupils learnt about our diverse world and honours the important people, events and contributions of inspirational black people.
There was also a common thread linking these amazing people to our school values; perseverance, compassion, excellence as well as enjoyment and awe & wonder. Through all of their struggles and challenges that life presented them with, they all strove to pursue their end goal and much more, being fantastic role models for those who followed.
Here are some of the many people the children learnt about, who make history in their respective fields:
Alma Thomas – an African-American artist and teacher who lived and worked in Washington, D.C., and is now recognized as a major American painter of the 20th century.
Barack Obama – an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African-American president of the United States
Ignatius Sancho – born into slavery and brought to England in the 1700s. Incredibly, he taught himself to read and write and eventually managed to earn his freedom. He went on to be a successful composer and businessman.
Jesse Owens – an astonishingly gifted athlete who excelled in the 100m, 200m, long jump and relay. In 1935, he managed to set three world records within the space of an hour at a meeting in Michigan. It remains a feat that has never been equaled.
Martin Luther King – an African American church leader and the son of early civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Sr., King advanced civil rights for people of color in the United States.
Rosa Parks – an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
Mary Seacole – a British-Jamaican nurse and businesswoman who set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines during the Crimean War.
George Washington Carver – an American agricultural scientist and inventor who promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion. He was the most prominent black scientist of the early 20th century.
John Edmonstone – a former enslaved man who taught the young Charles Darwin the skill of taxidermy. This skill helped Darwin preserve the birds that fermented his ideas about evolution.
Bishop Wilfred Wood – a Barbadian-British Anglican who was the first black bishop in the Church of England.
Nelson Mandela – a South African anti-apartheid activist who served as the first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.
Dr. Mae Jemison – an American physician and the first African American woman to become an astronaut.
The children were so shocked at how black people were treated differently to those of white skin and, as a result, there were so many important discussions which took place across the classrooms: Should it make a difference to who you are, whether you’re a boy or a girl or what your skin colour is? They talked about how we can all learn from the difficult lessons in History and how we can ensure we plan for a better future.
A resounding message coming out from all classrooms was that we should be kind to one another and that we are all God’s children and should be treated equally.