How to embrace Black History Month all year round

How to embrace Black History Month all year round
75% of English teachers worry about a lack of ethnic diversity in the National Curriculum, according to new research by Teach First. Therefore, Black history can’t – and shouldn’t – be limited to a single month. 

Black history is British history

As Black History Month starts today, Dimensions takes a rounded approach to weaving Black history into the curriculum throughout the year for all learners.

Approaching Black history with different age groups

Making Black history relevant and relatable for children from Early Years upwards – during Black History Month and beyond – requires you to evolve your approach through the key stages.

In our global curriculum, we begin by focusing on friendship in Early Years. By promoting kindness, you can encourage children to embrace each other’s differences and treat all friends equally. 

In Key Stage 1, we look at respecting individuals, establishing the key values that will turn children into well-rounded and compassionate people. 

By LKS2, we help pupils show understanding, examining cultural diversity and learning how our differences make us all special.

USK2 is about developing tolerance. We raise difficult questions about what should and shouldn’t be tolerated in today’s society.

How should you teach Black history?

Drawing inspiration from key historical figures, it’s crucial to tell stories, enlighten minds and open up important topics for discussion. 

All of the figures we use in ‘Learning Means The World’ are carefully chosen to reflect a variety of perspectives and experiences. We always pay attention not to teach Black history through a white lens.

For example, we use the character of Pocahontas to teach KS1 pupils the true story of colonialism. Her courage shines a light on the devastating effects colonialism had on Native American people.

Learning about famous Black wordsmith, Ignatius Sancho, tells the story of slavery from a first-person perspective. It shows how incredible individuals used their voices and influence to lobby for the abolition of slavery.

We feature Josephine Baker, the Black dancer who became a spy during World War 2 and fought segregation and racism throughout her life.

For UKS2, we study Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, examining their impact on the world we live in.

Coverage is easy, learning is hard

So, as Black History Month is upon us, let’s remember that “coverage is easy, learning is hard”.

Use this calendar event as a springboard for year-round cultural awareness, understanding and equality, rather than turning it into a box-ticking exercise.

By linking Black history-themed learning across the curriculum, you can provide children with the tools to connect the dots, see the bigger picture and develop their own, positive 21st-century attitudes and values. 

Find out more about our global curriculum here.

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