This year at Davenant Foundation School we are celebrating Black History Month 2021 in a number of different ways. The key national theme this year is ‘Proud to be’. The campaign aims to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, families and communities, focusing on how we are all making history all the time in our own ways, as well as the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.
All pupils and staff have been invited to celebrate ‘what makes them proud’ in a creative way. The work will be displayed throughout the school as a way to celebrate our community. The aim of this project is to give all members of the community a platform to reflect on their achievements and to proudly showcase this in a creative way. We hope this inclusive approach will create a sense of solidarity which is embedded in the school ethos of ‘nurturing mind, body, and spirit’. On top of this, the project will teach our pupils to be compassionate (encouraging all members of the community to be proud), determined (showing a commitment to being inclusive), open-minded (recognizing the beauty of multi-culturalism), respectful (celebrating the achievement of others), and inclusive in accepting people of different religions, denominations, race, age, abilities and sexuality.
Staff and pupils have been working hard to put together a range of workshops/events to celebrate Black History Month. Our Sixth Form students are particularly looking forward to informing pupils about the beauty of African hair through a practical workshop where pupils will be taught how to, for example, braid hair. Members of staff will also support this by linking this to Dove’s project on ‘My Hair, My Crown’. This is a fund aimed at eradicating race-based hair discrimination through grassroots organisations. This will empower the next generation of girls in the Black community, eliminating barriers to progression in society and the workplace.
In addition to this, there will be a number of other events:
- The Music department will put together various musical performances to celebrate the contribution of Black people to the music industry.
- Tutor groups will lead assemblies on recent Black heroes. By doing this, we are further celebrating the ‘Proud to be’ theme by highlighting the successes of Black people.
- Sixth formers are putting together tutor time quizzes, to inform pupils about British Black history.
- Screening of a film ‘Hidden Figures’ which is about female African-American mathematicians who serves a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.
- Sharing traditional African-Caribbean recipes with all members of the community. Pupils will be encouraged to try and show of their creations.
We also hope to organise a fashion show to celebrate African-Caribbean clothing and textiles, and hopefully invite an outside dance specialist to work with the PE department, teaching pupils a traditional African dance.
We hope that Black History Month will highlight the vast contributions and achievements of Black British people. We are celebrating the coming together of a diverse community through dance, food, and music. The hope is to promote inclusivity, respect, and compassion for all. This will be a springboard to our school’s commitment to ending racism and promoting love and respect for everyone. In the book of Matthew (22:36-40) it is said ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’. This encapsulates all that we do at Davenant to create a truly inclusive community.