Black History Month: Kingsfold Primary School holds a series of events to promote importance of diversified curriculum

Black history is currently not a topic on the national curriculum, but Miss Judith Ward thinks it's vital that children learn about it.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 1:28 pm

Kingsfold Primary School in Penwortham held numerous activities throughout October as a way to celebrate Black History Month and diversify the curriculum.

From history lessons, to dance classes and drumming sessions, the weekly events offered the Preston school children a chance to find out more about black culture, and have fun whilst doing so.

Judith Ward, the History Subject Leader and a Reception Class Teacher at the school said: "I have worked at Kingsfold for nine years now and as a black teacher myself I thought it would be great and important to celebrate Black History Month with the children and staff at our school.

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Carnival Troupe, Rhythm Dancers, performed for the school and included some of their own pupils. Pictured is Skye, Tilly, Maisie, Keira-Leigh and Bethany.

“It’s not on the curriculum as an actual topic, but it's still part of our history, it’s very important, it's relevant to our children, and we have some children in school from the black community as well, so I think it’s nice to show a bit of diversity and a bit of culture within our school, we’re very inclusive in that respect."

Judith, 31, continued: "As black history's not on the curriculum as such, I thought these activities would be a nice way to drip feed it into the children’s knowledge, and I also really enjoy carnivals and things like that from the black culture, so I thought it would be good fun."

The school kick started Black History Month by inviting a past student Maisie Eccles and her carnival dance troupe, Rhythm Dancers, whose members included pupils from Kingsford, to perform some Caribbean carnival dance routines to students, teachers and parents.

Judith said: "It was amazing, it just built their confidence really, and gave them a new opportunity to celebrate their talent which I thought was very important, and it also enriched the curriculum."

The children learnt about the history of African drumming. From left to right, at the back is Miss Judith Ward, Anas, Phil Kaila, Keeley, Alegria, Keelan, Zahra, Reece, Freya, and Merdi, whilst at the front is Luca, James, Emily, Gypsy-May, Nancy, Amna and Leighton.

Later that week, Judith invited Phil Kaila, an award winning salsa dancer and dance teacher who is based in Preston but is originally from Zambia, to teach the children about African culture.

This included teaching the children about African drumming and how it was used as a form of communication, with the pupils getting the chance to play themselves.

The following week, Adrian Murrell from Windrush Initiatives CIC, who held Preston's Windrush Festival in September, visited the school to teach the children about the 'Windrush' generation, those who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 in order to help rebuild the UK economy post-war.

Judith explained: "With Windrush being more in the public domain at the minute now, we thought it was important that our children could understand what it is and how it came about, which they found really interesting, and hopefully I’m going to continue working with Adrian throughout the year to be able to drip feed bits of black history into the school as the children thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learnt a lot from the lesson."

Adrian Murrell from Windrush Initiatives CIC visited the school, pictured from left to right is Algreia, Adrian Murrell, Leon, Riley, Nancy, Lilly-Mae, Miss Judith Ward, and Tilly.

Finally, on the last day of the half term, the school held a Carnival Day and cake sale to raise money for Rock FM's Cash for Kids, with all the children coming to school in bright colourful clothing.

Each teacher taught a carnival themed lesson, for instance Miss Ward taught the children a Soca dance to 'It's Carnival', and Mr Spencer taught the children about reggae music and playing on the upbeat in KS1, whilst the children in KS2 made carnival masks.

Judith said: "The children absolutely loved it, they can’t wait for the next lessons, they wanted it to happen more frequently they were saying which was good feedback from them all.

"It has been an exciting fun filled and informative month and the children and staff have learnt so much. It's important to educate the children about black history all year round and not just during Black History Month.

Miss Judith Ward with Rhythm Dancers, Bethany, Maisie, Keigh-Leigh, Skye, Olivia, Tilly and Leon, as well as Maisie Eccles, the Dance Leader and ex Kingsfold student.

"We’re trying to make our curriculum more relevant for our children across the board, and as we’re creating a new curriculum, activities like these will help them remember the information, and learn even more about other cultures as well."