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Keeping the dialogue about Black British History fresh and relevant

Our thanks to the renowned writer and historian, S I Martin (Steve), who came to TGS to work with Year 9 students and sixth formers.  Steve specialises in the fields of Black British History and Literature and has worked for a range of museums, galleries and archives.

He ran a powerful session with Year 9 students building not only on Black History Month but also their work in Year 8 on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Steve gave a powerful overview of Black British History and then the students undertook a problem-solving exercise concerning a young enslaved person who escaped from the Tower of London. The students responded exceptionally well in a very mature and thoughtful way.

Later Steve ran a lunchtime seminar with students from years 11, 12 and 13. Ines commented ‘I found Steve’s views on Black British literature exceptionally insightful and his recommended reading included many texts I have not ever heard of….’ similarly Aayesha said ‘….it was brilliant to see the connection between English and History…’

It is essential to keep the dialogue about Black British History fresh and relevant.  At TGS we see Black History Month in October as a springboard to the academic year in terms of making sure all we do is fully inclusive all year round, and having people like Steve come into School is an integral part of this

Mrs Thompson, subject leader history, leader diversity and student voice

Black History Month

In October TGS celebrated Black History Month in a number of different ways, from an inspirational assembly led by the Diversity and Inclusion Alliance to a PE display celebrating Black Sporting Icons. Mathematics showed the film ‘Hidden Figures’ at lunchtime and History ran lessons for years 7, 8 and 9 on topics like ‘Black Tudors’ and ‘Should the British Museum continue to own the Benin Bronzes?’.

Classics investigated ‘How ethnic diversity powered the Roman Empire?’ and English ran a whole range of activities including a discussion of the influence of African languages on English. Other subjects including Science and Music also continued the theme of Black History. The School Librarian recorded excerpts from key texts to be played in Learning Mentor time as a prelude to a wider discussion.

In addition, in Learning Mentor time each Learning Community designed a display for their door on a person from an allocated theme celebrating Black History, Year 7 had Sport, Year 8 had Science and Medicine, Year 9 investigated Activists and Media, Year 10 looked at Art, Literature and Song, Year 11 presented on Actors and Year 12 – 13 had Politics.

Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of Black heritage and culture. We firmly believe that Black History is not something that is confined to Black History Month, but nevertheless it is an important moment of celebration and refection.