October 28, 2022

Black History Month 2022

Here’s a round-up of the celebration, awareness and educational activities across a selection of Lionheart schools

As a multi-academy trust with a clear mission to ensure students are empowered with knowledge through an education that is diverse and inclusive, Black History Month (BHM) is of huge importance to us. Across our 14 Leicestershire schools, young people aged 4 to 19, have participated in classes, discussions, assemblies, shared reading lists and much more, as part of Black History Month 2022

  • Humphrey Perkins School in Barrow-upon-Soar held an assembly based on David Olusoga's book Black and British: A forgotten History, as well as a quiz in tutor time to help increase students’ knowledge on the importance of black history.
  • The Newbridge School in Coalville launched BHM with an all-school assembly focusing on inspirational black people, with this also following through to lesson starter activities for students across curriculum subjects. Students also heard from Floella Benjamin, via video, sharing why BHM is so important. This was reinforced with inspirational quotes on plasma screens throughout the school.
  • Riverside Primary School in Birstall explained the importance of and meaning behind BHM with children in an assembly, with each year group then identifying an iconic black person as a focus for their class work.
  • As well as displays around school, subject specific starter activities in class to celebrate BHM and students sharing their dreams inspired by Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”, Beauchamp City Sixth Form students also led on BHM activities including a Live Lounge session where numerous students and staff took to the stage to perform.
  • Judgemeadow Community College’s student-led podcast interviewed staff to gain an insight on Black History Month to share with fellow students and the wider community. The Evington-based city school also linked their BHM education for students around the topical 50-year anniversary since Ugandans fled and settled in Leicester.
  • At The Cedars Academy in Birstall, as well as educational assemblies and classwork, students took part in a ‘wear red’ non-uniform day in support of ‘show racism the red card’. The main focus at Cedars has been local, with students also having devised a timeline of black history in the Leicester area to display in school.
  • Beauchamp College have celebrated BHM through a range of activities and a recommended reading list, with gatherings having linked black history with broader themes of protected characteristics and equality Vs equity. Year 13 students, Princess and Kevin, delivered key note speeches during the gatherings covering The Windrush Generation, reasons for October being the month that explicitly celebrates Black history, and a message of ‘Time for Action: Not Words’. All year groups responded with a spontaneous round of applause!
  • On Thursday 27th October all Beauchamp College students enjoyed a presentation from the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, that once again addressed themes of diversity and inclusion. On the same day, catering staff planned a Jamaican inspired menu, to encourage further conversation between students and staff, at lunch.
  • ‘Diversity Ambassadors’ are being appointed at Beauchamp College, with the opportunity to work with the Stephen Lawrence Centre and therefore help pave the way by promoting equity for all, for generations to come.
  • The Castle Rock School had over 70 fantastic entries to their research project competition, where students were tasked with researching an influential black person from the past or present day.

Looking beyond Black History Month...

Like with many inter/national campaigns, such as Pride month and International Women’s Day, our work in educating students stretches far beyond the end date of these campaigns, with diversity embedded throughout the curriculum of all Lionheart schools in many subjects.

We’re proud that our black history curriculum extends beyond Black History Month, and includes the study of Saladin and the Third Crusade, Mansa Musa and the Mali Empire, Black Tudors living in England and the diversity of soldiers who fought in WW1.

The Lionheart curriculum across all subjects aims to represent the breadth of diversity of modern society and value all voices. While progress is already apparent, all our curriculum subject leaders are continually working towards more broadly diversifying the curriculum, looking at alternative stories and more diverse representation across all under represented/marginalised groups.

For example, we already include; the study of more diverse texts by non-white authors in English; the promotion of a range of famous mathematicians and scientists from the BAME community or identifying as LGBTQ; and inclusion of sports activity while living with a disability, such as wheelchair basketball sessions. Ensuring diversity in our curriculum is forever-developing and something which we commit to pursue.

Although Black History Month will come to an end on 31st October, our work in educating students and empowering them with the knowledge to make a difference in our progressive society will continue.