Black History Month
GGA Celebrates Black History Month
Black History Month is an International annual month, celebrating, recognising and valuing inspirational individuals and events. First celebrated in the UK in 1987, Black History Month in the UK is marked annually during the month of October. During the month of October GGA celebrated Black History in style. Please read what they have to say.
In Year 1 we decided to learn about the life and work of Harriet Powers.
We now know that Harriet Powers was an African-American slave, folk artist, and quilt maker from rural Georgia. She used traditional appliqué techniques to record local legends, Bible stories, and astronomical events on her quilts.
Only two of her quilts are known to have survived: Bible Quilt 1886 and Pictorial Quilt 1898. We drew our own quilts.
Year 2 focussed on the work of Mary Seacole and her influence and impact in the world of medicine and soldier welfare.
Children focussed on her achievements and challenges that she faced as a black woman in the early Victorian period. Children initially completed a learning activity of recalling information learnt from her life at the beginning of the month.
This was then enhanced further at the end of the month with a workshop session led by Emily Grazebrook and her amazing and engaging storytelling and supporting practical activities including remedy investigations and developing empathy skills.
Through pupil voice and looking at the children’s outcomes from the sessions, it is evident to see that children recognise the challenges that Mary Seacole faced and overcame and why these are remembered and celebrated.
Doctor Martin Luther King
Year 3 Black History Month – Doctor Martin Luther King
In Year 3 we studied Doctor Martin Luther King. This began relating to the children’s previous learning in Year 2 of Rosa Park and how this linked to Martin Luther King’s work.
The children in particular enjoyed a pictorial book which showed his life story and they enjoyed real life video footage of him given his famous “I had a dream speech”. In the children’s own work they were able to recall some of the work that Doctor Luther King did to bring more fairness in the world and we linked his vision and dreams to what the children’s own vision and dreams were.
The Art workshop was excellent in supporting this with the children making a dream catcher and writing down what their dreams for the world were and attaching to their catchers. Please see below photographs of the children making their dream catchers.
Art Workshop – Making Dream Catchers
Year 4 have studied the life of Ruby Bridges and the bravery she showed as a young girl.
We discussed how she must have felt and the horrors such a young girl faced. Her grit and determination is something we focussed upon and showed this by role playing parts of life that she faced on a daily basis. The children have said how we can all learn by her story when or if we face the impossible.
We had a clay artist visit us and together we looked at the work of Norman Rockwell who produced a painting of Ruby. We studied the colours used and the way he created his artwork, and then created a clay model of Ruby Bridges using his picture as inspiration.
In Year 5 we studied the life of Harriet Tubman. We produced a booklet describing her early life, her role in abolishing slavery and her legacy. We watched a film depicting the life of Harriet Tubman and this linked to our learning on inspiration people.
We had a workshop lead by Martin who talked about the slave trade in Ghana and the wider world. The children were able to make the link between Martin’s session and Mrs Wilson and Miss Heath’s visit to Elmina Castle, Ghana where they knew about ‘the door of no return’.
We had a Windrush drama workshop with David Baker, the children explored the history of people leaving the Caribbean to come to England through the use of drama. Children role played the different lives aboard The Empire Windrush and developed their empathy and understanding through this activity.
Earthquake At Port Royal
As part of Black History Month, Year 6 learnt about the earthquake at Port Royal in 1692. The children learnt about the role of Port Royal as the ‘wickedest city in the world’ and how that changed with the earthquake and tsunami of 1692. They then created and performed their own news reports about the event.
Year 6 also learnt about the culture of Jamaica and considered how and why things would have been different and difficult for those who emigrated to the United Kingdom on the Windrush. It was evident that the children could empathise with those who lost their homes in Port Royal and those who travelled on the Windrush.
During the month of October, we have been celebrating our 5th year of Black History Month across the school. The children have been learning fascinating facts about inspirational black people from the past and those that contribute to our society today. The children’s learning has been enriched by visiting artists delivering a variety of workshops.
Reception and Year 1
Reception and Year 1 have been learning all about the importance of freedom through African Caribbean dance.
They have also participated in a song and dance workshop which focused on superstars such as the International Reggae singer Robert Nesta Marley.
Year 2 children have focused their studies around the activist Rosa Parks. Rosa played a pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The United States Congress has called her "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". To bring this topic to life the children have been involved in African American music workshops and African drumming retelling the story of Martin Luther King’s struggle for equality for all people.
Year 3 teachers have chosen great Dr Martin Luther King as their area of study.
They have been learning all about his leadership in the civil rights movement. Dr Martin Luther King is remembered for his non-violence protest. Graffiti artist Mark delivered a workshop around empowerment.
Our Year 4 pupils have been exploring the life of Ruby Bridges.
Ruby was the first black African American child to attend an all-white school (William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana) during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960. Clay artist, Victoria Houghton delivered a clay workshop based on unity.
The children in Year 5 have been learning about the life of the brave Harriet Tubman. Harriet was an American abolitionist and political activist.
Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made thirteen missions to rescue approximately seven hundred enslaved people, family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. They have produced a variety of written and art work which includes their very own medals from Queen Victoria to Harriet. The year group felted a freedom blanket.
Year 6 pupils have been participating in equality for all and anti-racism workshops.
They have also explored the life of the famous American poet Maya Angelou's and artist Jean –Michel Basquiat, (‘Life Doesn’t Frighten Me!’)