During the month of October, an annual observation of black history and achievements are focused on across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Schools across the country tend to assemblies gaining awareness. However, at NMBEC teachers and students have recently been trying different ways to celebrate this.

In such a diverse part of London, it is important to motivate and show the youth that anything is possible for them despite, social and economic backgrounds. Ms John-Lewis stated upon interview that there is ‘Not enough awareness of Black Excellence. Normally, we hear and focus on the negative history within our society of things like: slavery and knife crime. As a sociology teacher, I mainly find myself teaching statistics of disadvantage black people and we need to change this. We need to show more positive role models in society’.

Ms Drew adding, ‘It is very important that we not only focus on black history but also, the future. As a history teacher, I find myself without the time to teach about more diverse characters that helped pave the way for society today. It is a great opportunity for students from different backgrounds to learn more and gain more of an appreciation’.

At Norbury Manor, aside from classroom activities, teachers and students come together to research and learn more about black achievements and future successes in the Black community. After there is a sufficient amount of information gathered, students work together to create a variety of different projects on their chosen topics. Then, they put together: films, power points and artistic pieces that will later be presented during the ‘Black Xperience’ evening hosted by the school. Last year, Sabah K was given the opportunity to travel to University College London with her team to, collect information based on black academics who, had worked in and contributed to STEM which, she found was ‘an enlightening experience’.

Friends and family from the community come together to witness the appreciation of black efforts made within society.

 This year, guest speakers included: Olympian Donovan Reid, Last Night in Paris (UK Music video award winners), Shaniqua Benjamin, Andrew Brown (CEO of Croydon B.A.M.E forum) and Dennise Hillman (Black British Business Award Finalist 2017) who, were all able to share their stories and their successes. Alongside the guest speakers, guests were able to participate in the evening through the African Drumming workshop and enjoy traditional African and Caribbean dishes for a small price.

The event will be held next October as well so, be sure to come and experience the work and efforts of the teachers and students.