October is Black History Month and the whole of the school has been marking this in some way, celebrating, teaching and learning.
The NGHS Anti-Racism Collective
Last week, the NGHS Anti-Racism Collective took place for the first meeting of the academic year. It is a lunchtime club for students and staff to come together to discuss matters of racial identity. People of all ethnicities join forces to learn, acknowledge and celebrate difference and to promote diversity and inclusion across the school community. Next half term, the group hopes to work together to support one of our chosen charities for the year, Salaam Shalom Kitchen – a Nottingham based joint Muslim-Jewish charity that supports victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially women and children. You can read more about the charity and the work that they do at this link.
Infant and Junior School
Girls in Year 5 are currently reading Diver’s Daughter by the Black British author, Patrice Lawrence. This story, set in Elizabethan times, recounts the life of two Black Britons – a fictional character who was enslaved by Portuguese traders and who ended up as a domestic servant in Tudor London, and a real-life Mauritanian pearl diver who was talent spotted on the northwest coast of Africa and brought in to help with the salvage of Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose shortly after she sank in 1545. It is thought that there were around 300 Black Britons living in and around British ports at this time in our history, and that number was set to increase as navigation improved and European powers began to assert their dominance through trade and exploitation in Africa and the Americas. Year 5 are totally absorbed in the story.
Other Infant and Junior School girls have also been reading relevant books from the display in the Rainbow Room outside the Junior Library.
Year 7 PSHE
In Year 7 PSHE, students have taken part in the Black history poetry competition, and in Business Studies they have been looking at Black owned businesses such as Prim Black bookshop, library and publisher of the works of people of colour, their objectives and the history behind the need for this type of business.
Poems and Presentations
Other year groups have also been working on poems and presentations for the National Black History Month Poetry Competition 2023 and hope to see their poems about inspirational Black women published and possibly even in print next month. Good luck everybody! Here are a couple of entries, one from Eesha in Year 9 and one from Summer in Year 8:
And there are women of different ethnicities in our wonderful periodic table mural on the cupboards in the Chemistry corridor. One woman in particular, Clarice Phelphs, an African American involved in the discovery of tennessine in 2010 is a particular inspiration.
On the final day of autumn half-term we held a non-uniform day and were encouraged to donate and to wear red to Show Racism the Red Card. Students and staff came to school in something red – a colourful end to a month of activity in support of Black History Month. Our Diversity Prefects have done a brilliant job too through their Instagram posts and emails – well done all of you, and thank you.