Anti-Racist Education Update: Community partners

This academic year, we have introduced an Anti-Racist approach at Oasis Academy Media City UK, focusing on; The Curriculum, Staff Training and CPD, Student Education, Community, and Leadership and Management. We simply could not have made the impact that we have had in this short time without these fantastic community partners.

Wisdom Against Racism

These sessions are focused on empowering our students and challenging and disarming racism to succeed in their education, careers, and personal lives.  The interventions were designed to provide a platform for kids of colour to have a safe space to discuss topics relating to race as well as including islamophobia, identity, and culture.

Recent sessions were focused on the current conflict in Palestine, providing a platform for our students to discuss issues through the lens of at it from the Israeli and Palestinian perspective with the aim of strengthening community cohesion.

https://www.wisdomagainstracism.com/

Migrant Leaders

The aim of this professional development programme is to support young 1st and 2nd generation migrants as well as all disadvantaged youths and to help them succeed in Britain. The programme is free and applicants are between 16 and 25 years old and they gain mentoring, workshops, work experiences and connections. Migrant Leaders now  has senior mentors from more than 95 FTSE100 and leading firms.

https://www.migrantleaders.org.uk/

Foresight in conjunction with The University of Manchester

Next academic term we have scheduled online sessions focused on empowering black-heritage students with the confidence, knowledge, and ability to successfully apply to the UK’s leading universities as a gateway to a more prosperous future. A special thanks to Catherine Millan for her continued support over the last five years.

https://www.withinsightedu.org/foresight

Football Beyond Borders

FBB supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are passionate about football but disengaged at school, in order to help them finish school with the skills and grades to make a successful transition into adulthood. We do this by providing long-term, intensive support, built around relationships and young people’s passions, in the classroom and beyond.

Anne Frank Trust

Using Anne Frank’s life and diary as a starting point, we empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination. In doing so, we partner with schools, local authorities, the criminal justice sector and others to deliver educational programmes alongside acclaimed exhibitions to young people in a variety of settings.

https://annefrank.org.uk/

Odd Arts

Odd Arts specialise in delivering theatre-based programmes that challenge and change attitudes and behaviours. In our case, improving community cohesion. They work with participants to devise theatre, from their own experiences as well as touring professional interactive theatre performances on challenging topics. This is all underpinned by: Restorative Approaches; Non-Violent Communication and Trauma Informed Approaches.

odd arts

Kids of Colour

A platform for young people of colour to explore race, identity and culture and challenge the everyday, institutionalised racism that shapes their lives. Used for Staff Training and student support.

https://kidsofcolour.com/

Leeds Beckett University

We have signed up to the Anti-Racist School Award is an assessment tool to evaluate current practices and initiatives within your school. It enables evaluation of the overall anti-racism support and strategies that exist within your school, whilst also helping to give structure to the development plan for any improvements.

https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/-/media/files/schools/school-of-education/anti-racist-award-a5-flyer-hires.pdf

 NEU Framework

This was the original framework that started us on our journey. Theme 4 focuses on recognising the emotional needs and development of pupils.

https://neu.org.uk/media/11236/view

Show Racism the Red Card

We have recently signed up to a 7 week online course that give access to a range of national speakers on specific subjects such as protected characteristics, Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Gipsy Roma Travellers.

https://www.theredcard.org/

Diverse Educators

Diverse Educators is a grassroots community that ensures that everyone is celebrated in every classroom in every school.

Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation

Provides opportunities for children and young people to have their voices heard, make the changes they would like to see and create a society that treats everyone with fairness and respect

stephenlawrenceday.org/

Decolonising the curriculum- Local Black Histories Project

Excited to work with the University of Manchester PHD History students and Graduates in partnership with Heritage Schools to support the development of Local Black History Resources for schools with the aim of promoting Black positive histories, local Black role models and stories of success. Students will research local Black history and will present the material to teachers to turn into lesson plans and resources that can be integrated into the curriculum.  The materials produced by students will then become a resource for the Heritage schools to pass on to schools across Greater Manchester. Materials will also be highlighted on the University of Manchester Hidden History resource page for teachers prompting the work of the heritage fund.

The University of Manchester PhD students have a range of specialist expertise including Migration urban regeneration, multiculturalism, Black Britons in the Industrial North, Oral histories of Black Pioneers and Trailblazers in Manchester. Working with our teachers, various resources including the scheme of learning, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations will be developed at the end of the 2021 academic year.

Cultural recognition in Schools: Diversity Champions

Diversity Champions. The University of Manchester BAME Widening Participation Programme

A diverse group of Year 9 students from Black and Global Majority (BGM) backgrounds designed and presented assemblies focused on community cohesion this week. There aim was to celebrate global cultures within the school population. I was inspired to see the students so passionate and proud to celebrate their backgrounds and challenge any misconceptions. 

“We have noticed that a lot of people don’t have much of an understanding of international culture. The Cohesion Project is about tackling issues surrounding discrimination as well as realising that no matter the race, religion, sexuality or culture of someone, we are all one united community and it is important we recognise and appreciate each other’s differences.” Ana, Age 13

Community cohesion assembly slide: Congo

Community cohesion assembly slide: Angola

The BGM student population has continued to increase annually, from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 -2017. Despite this, some schools still maintain a colour-blind stance that overlooks the acknowledgement of cultures from Global backgrounds.  Consequently, this unconsciously fuels issues that relate directly to social segregation and community cohesion. 

‘Tensions can grow where ethnic groups have segregated themselves from each other – whether by choice or circumstance – in housing, work, leisure and education’ UK Gov (DfES, 2003).’

Following the assemblies, the students will form the new Diversity Champions team. This will work in collaboration with The University Of Manchester’s BAME widening participation programme will be launching the project .

This project has been designed in response to the attack that took place in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. Reports of hate crimes and incidents in Greater Manchester rose by 500% in the month following the attack, police figures showed. They included a bomb threat, racist taunts, and graffiti. After this initial spike, and a high of 1,061 reported incidents, the figures have since dropped but remain slightly above 2016 levels.

This project has been designed to equip pupils with the right skills and knowledge to reduce all kinds of prejudice faced by a number of groups in society. It will enable the pupils to learn about a number of issues and topic’s giving them an open space to discuss and learn how to challenge and tackle discrimination. The champions will receive training from a number of partner organisations to improve their knowledge and understanding around mental health, equality and diversity, LGBT rights, conflict resolution and bystander roles and responsibilities.

Thanks again to Catherine Millan and Stephanie Lonsdale  for bringing this project to life.

 

Black History Month: It’s time to change our approach

Catherine Millan delivering a Black History workshop at Oasis Media CityUK

The appalling events at St Winefride’s Catholic primary school , where teachers asked children to dress as slaves as part of a Black History Month celebrations is more evidence that we need a new dynamic approach teaching Black History in our schools.

I am a passionate activist for a balanced global curriculum that is inclusive for all learners. As it currently stands, the Black Global Majority student population has continued to increase annually with an increase from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 and 2017, yet the national curriculum still takes a colourblind approach when dealing with global topics and issues (Demie, 2005).

There is a need for curricula that addresses the specific histories and cultures of racially marginalised students as discussed by Chikkatur (2013). Without the contributions of Black and Global Majority citizens, this country would not be the Great Britain as we know it today.  It is up to us to take a stance to introduce Black History and its contributions into our curriculum on a micro, meso and macro level. It is important to make curriculum links with Black and Global Majority inventors, scientists, civilisations etc, as various studies have found that it will help students to raise their aspirations and understand the background and development of our diverse society (King, 2016; Martell, 2014; Richardson, 2007). A good time to introduce this would be during Black History Month.

This year we used the amazing Catherine Millan from the University of Manchester, who delivered a workshop for young people and teachers about Black History Month and why it exists. Catherine has lots of experience in anti-racist work, having previously created a teaching pack with the Anthony Walker Foundation.

You can contact Catherine directly at Catherine.millan@manchester.ac.uk

Chikkatur, A., 2013. Teaching and learning African American history in a multiracial classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(4), pp.514-534.

Demie, F., 2005. Achievement of Black Caribbean pupils: good practice in Lambeth schools. British Educational Research Journal31(4), pp.481-508.

King, L.J., 2016. Teaching black history as a racial literacy project. Race Ethnicity and Education19(6), pp.1303-1318.

Martell, C.C., 2013. Race and histories: Examining culturally relevant teaching in the US history classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(1), pp.65-88.

Richardson, B. ed., 2007. Tell it like it is: How our schools fail Black children. Bookmarks.