Students and staff at Richard Taunton have been celebrating Black History in the classroom, and throughout the college community, for Black History Month this year.
The college, who have been involved with Black History Month South for over ten years, focused on discovering hidden figures within the Black community and throughout history by celebrating those who have made a significant contribution to society and within subject areas.
Departments looked at ways to celebrate black history across their curriculum, with art students creating an interactive Instagram feed in the classroom looking at Black artists, dance students performing extracts from the iconic dance work Revelations by Alvin Ailey and music students performing songs from a range of musicians including Sam Cooke, Scott Joplin and Spirituals. Whilst acting students created their own devised piece about the importance of Black History as a constant thread throughout education.
The celebration of Black history culminated in a drop-in exhibition, with the opportunity to have a meaningful dialogue between their peers and staff about ensuring the inclusion of black history in education. The exhibition displayed a variety of student work and interactive exhibits to educate and spark conversations.
Praise for students and staff
Lisa Fernandez-Adams, Director of Teaching and Learning at the college, praised the work of staff and students:
“We have been delighted that staff across our college and over 60 students have contributed their own research into a number of ‘Hidden Figures’. This culminated in an exhibition of the work for our students to engage with. It has been fantastic to see the work that has been created, and celebrated, and we look forward to this being a constant feature of our curriculum.”
At the end of the month the college also launched their anti-racism pledge in response to the black lives matter movement. The pledge aims to further steadfast the college’s commitment to creating change and a more equal and fairer society, and highlights the way in which they aim to do so.
Paul Swindale, Head of College, said:
“We recognise that as educators we have a responsibility to our students, our community, and the wider world, to play our part in bringing about change. There is always work to be done, and we want to pave the way for more meaningful conversations to help create a fairer and more equal society. We will continue to look at any opportunities where we can support staff and students to make this happen. Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group is always looking for ways to empower our college community to make a difference, and we look forward to sharing our progress over the course of the coming year.”
Take a look at our college EDI page to find out more about our pledge.