Black History Month at Riverside School, Barking

Student leaders across the school are at the forefront of events marking Black History month at Riverside school. Our Cultural Arts Council are working on a project to share knowledge and understanding of Britain’s black history and its significance in the lives of our school community today. The centre piece of this will be a short documentary directed by 6th form students on the significance of hair design and styles to our students. This will involve students from across the school speaking to camera about how culture is portrayed though everyday choices of young people. Other students will be leading on sharing the history and significance of different forms of music or spoken word to our diverse school community, engaging with all years to learn more about each other’s backgrounds. This will culminate in a Black origin food stall at the end of the month in collaboration with students from Food Technology.

Elsewhere in school, representatives from our school choir have already performed at Hackney Empire as part of a workshop telling the story of the Fisk Jubilee singers whose voice help fundraise and support the first black university in the US.

Students studying music in Y10 have chosen to develop a performance based on a Stormy song that talks of about his efforts to support young black people getting into university, with will be shared in assemblies. Whilst all students in Y7 will be exploring the cultural significance of West African drumming in their music lesson this year.

Throughout our assemblies in October students from across the school will be leading short talks on key Black figures from the realms of politics, sport, music and science that have been inspirations in their own lives. Students will then be discussing these figures, and what they stand for, in more detail in form times. These topics will be related to what the students are seeing around them today, for example the work of the England team against racism in football and the campaign for more diversity across music/film awards.

We are particularly proud of a project designed and implemented by our Head Students (Y13) to incorporate a Black History Month themed art and poetry event within our inter-house competition. The Head students will be delivering speeches in assemblies to open the competition, talking of the importance of expressing our culture in creative ways and will be part of a student judging panel to decide the winners at the end.

Read more: Director at SSAT Angelina Idun, introduces this year’s theme for Black History Month: Proud to be.

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