Dear Parents and Carers,
October is Black History Month in the UK. This is a special time where we promote knowledge of black history, culture and heritage. Alongside our core British Values, we will encourage the children to reflect on previous work they have undertaken, and explore ideas that promote respect and understanding of one another.
This year, during the week beginning 19th October, all children will be reading and sharing stories written by Black authors each day.
We know our children are keen readers. Further ideas of books for a range of ages that link with Black History Month can be found here:
Tackling and addressing racism in all its forms and moving equality forward is essential in developing a supportive and welcoming community. We believe it is vital to discuss and address issues of race, culture, equality and diversity and to create a curriculum and a school where this issue is openly addressed and discussed.
To do this, we will be gathering feedback from pupils, parents, staff and governors to gain views and experiences of all people involved in our school. The aim of the parents’ group is to share thoughts, experiences of racism and to help us decide on the best way to move forward and address this topic in the most appropriate way.
The parents meetings will take place on Zoom or by phone. If you are interested in joining the parent group, please contact the school office by Wednesday the 21st October.
We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your support,
How are you addressing Black Lives Matter Movement with children?
At Irk Valley, we have shared with many children in our year groups information about the Black Lives Matter movement by showing CBBC news articles and opening up conversations in the Google Classroom stream. This reflects the recent increased media coverage on the movement as well as the history of the movement.
Are you teaching any lessons about it?
As part of our curriculum, we teach children about race and racial issues. We teach about diversity and inclusion. In response to the tragic news of George Floyd and subsequent media coverage, we have set circle time and PHSE activities to support children to talk about and listen to racial concerns, injustices and issues.
In our English lessons, we aim to represent children and characters from a range of backgrounds and races. In the English lessons we are currently providing online, we are using texts that support children to understand Black voices and experiences, as well as those from BAME communities.
Are you just doing something now? What about the future?
Our vision is for us to continue to make reflective and effective action with our curriculum overview by reviewing subject coverage and topics taught. In addition, we intend to look at all of our reading books and reading texts to ensure a balanced coverage of views and experiences.
Will my child get to share their ideas?
As ever, we value our pupils' voice in all aspects of school life, and decisions that affect them. We will endeavour to involve, promote, and support our black children to be heard.
As a Rights Respecting school, we must do all we can so that all children learn at school, are protected, have their views listened to and are treated fairly.
How can I be involved at school?
If you have any feedback on our approach at Irk Valley, or/and would like to be involved in this approach, please contact us using firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0161 413 8707.
What books and resources would you recommend that my child can read about this movement, issues of racial inequality, or being from a BAME community?
Please see the short video as well as the booklists below.
Also do check out the Parent's Guide at the top for more ideas and information.
How can I talk to my child about issues of race?
If you would like support on talking to your children about issues of race, please see the booklet at the top which has some useful information, ideas and resources.