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Pupils mark Black History Month 2023

Display boards in the reception of the Junior School for Black History Month 2023

October was Black History Month and pupils in both the Senior and Junior Schools took part in a range of activities to mark the occasion. Below is a snapshot of a few of these activities.

SGS History Podcast

In the Senior School, the History department produced a podcast that focussed on inspirational black women from history.

Students from across the year groups were invited to participate and research inspirational women from black history and segments ranged from the pioneering nurse Mary Seacole to the unsung hero of the civil rights movement Claudette Colvin.

SGS History podcast for Black History Month 2023

Head of History Mr Tom Leng said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the pupils and it is good to see that their passion for history goes beyond the four walls of the classroom.”

Listen to the podcast on Spotify.

Role models

At the start of October, Junior School Head Mr Copping delivered an assembly about Black History Month where he spoke about inspirational black role models and reminded pupils about the visit of Sally Penni where she talked about her book ‘Where Are You From?’ that celebrates black British history.

Following this, each year group chose a different black role model or area of history that they would like to study.

Year 6 children wrote about England footballer Lauren James, Hollywood’s first black female director Maya Angelou, the first black First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Freeman, a prominent figure on the rights of African-American slaves.

Year 5 concentrated their research on Nike Davies-Okundaye, a leading figure in the world of arts and crafts and Year 4 children learnt about the Windrush generation.

Year 3 focused their learning on the creator of the ‘British Library’ installation, British-Nigerian Yinka Shonibare whilst Year 1 and 2 children focused on famous sportsmen – Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford respectively.

Reception children looked at the work of African-American artist Alma Thomas and Nursery boys and girls learnt all about the first African-American woman in space, Mae Carol Jemison.

A display of the children’s work was put on display in the main reception area of the Junior School.

Classroom work

As well as looking at different black role models or area of history, pupils also celebrated the work of black individuals in lessons.

Taking inspiration from doctor, scientist, dancer, teacher and astronaut Mae Carol Jemison, Nursery girls and boys had lots of fun pretending to be astronauts and exploring in the dark tent. They also enjoyed reading Atinuke’s story ‘Baby Goes To Market’.

Reception pupils cutting fruit

In Art lessons, Reception children studied Alma Thomas’ artwork and experimented with some of the patterns and techniques that she used. In literacy lessons the pupils read ‘Handa’s Surprise’ by Eileen Browne. During the lessons they enjoyed tasting fruits and taking part in an obstacle course. The children were very sensible whilst cutting up their own fruit to eat and came up with some great words to describe it.

Year 3 pupils complete some design work for Black History Month 2023

As part of their research of the work of Yinka Shonibare, Year 3 designed their own works based on his 2014 piece ‘British Library’.