This year Sion began Black History Month with an assembly by Mrs Yacoub that introduced to our students the story of how Black History Month began in Britain and to consider why it is a significant event that should be marked. Students heard John Agard read extracts from his poem “Checkin’ Out Me History” (a poem that our students study as part of their GCSE English Literature Anthology) and his own explanation of the motivation and inspiration behind the poem. We also heard from historian David Olusoga about why it is important to develop our knowledge and understanding of black history and black British history in particular.
In lessons, Year 8 have researched Kwanzaa (RS) and discussed the importance of Black History Month (in PSHEE) and have refocused some of their study of the Tudor period (History) on black Tudors, using the historical research of Miranda Kaufman.
In the History Department of course, we are always working towards creating a more diverse and inclusive History curriculum and we teach black and minority History throughout the year, as it is part of our shared history. This year we are developing a global history research project for year 7 in the Summer Term which will involve independent guided research into a non-European civilisation of the Middle Ages. In Year 8 we are continuing to teach the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery in the context of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution and in Year 9 we will be examining the role of Empire troops, particularly Indian and West Indian troops in both World Wars. A significant unit in our GCSE is the study of Migration, Empires and People from 790 to the present day which gives our students an excellent opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the wide impact of migration on Britain and the British Empire.