Case Study

Black History Month at HMC Schools 2020

Please see below examples from a variety of HMC schools as to how they are marking Black History Month 2020:

Wellington School has put together a useful presentation pack with links and resources to Black History Month activities. See here. Art students have also been exploring Black artists like Nigerian born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby and creating artwork in response to the artists’ styles in class and also as part of the schools’ Photography and Digital Media club. See here.

Canford School has compiled a dedicated page on their website for Black History Month with links a programme of events, a YouTube video showing how they are marking the month and a choir recording of ‘Mine eyes have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord’.

At Latymer Upper School, School Librarian, Terri McCargar has put together an in-depth reading list celebrating Black voices and Black lives.

St Paul’s Girls School marked the beginning of Black History Month with a brilliant introductory student assembly and a powerful Friday Lecture from Stuart Lawrence. Since then, the school has launched a varied programme of events that will run both in and outside the classroom throughout October, including talks, reading groups and webinars for the wider school community. See here for more information.

At Bristol Grammar School, the History Department has shared a wide range of ideas and links to help pupils and staff explore and connect with the schools’ rich and diverse past – which can be accessed here. They will also lead a Senior School assembly on the Bristol Bus Boycott. See here for a blog from the schools’ Head of History, Rory Hambly, which includes mention of the work the school is doing to diversifying the history curriculum.

Robert Gordon’s College have put together two events to mark Black History Month, including a session titled ‘The Legacy of Slavery in Scotland’ with guest speakers Sir Geoff Palmer and Councillor Graham Campbell and a session titled ‘People Like Us’ with guest speaker Hashi Mohamed, Barrister and Broadcaster. See here for more information. Also, recently formed acapella group Concordia share their performance of ‘I say a little prayer’. See here.

From Monday 12th to Friday 16th October, Emanuel School is marking Black History Month with a dedicated Black History Week. Miranda Barclay, Deputy Head Girl, has put together an exciting and insightful series of events to mark the occasion, with bulletins to staff and pupils each day. See here for more information. See here for poems marking Black History Month from school staff and students.

At Eltham College, a programme of events are being held throughout the school, including assemblies and panel discussions. Students are also taking take part in a series of workshops reflecting on real life experiences in and outside of school, and be learning about different cultures. Also, students in Year 11 have worked collaboratively on an assembly that will be delivered to the rest of the year group.  Students will also be researching and discussing notable and inspirational Black Britons and how society has been enriched and made stronger by their contributions. See here for more details.

Brentwood School students are making sure the important contributions made by historical black figures are not forgotten with a daily factfile. See here.

The Stephen Perse Foundation have created a new Art display to mark Black History Month with resources from the Black Curriculum. See here. The school has also placed artwork for Black History Month around the school alongside books for the school library. See here



Dulwich College is marking Black History Month by committing to exploring, finding out, thinking about and reflecting on the hidden, forgotten and emerging people and events that are central to Black History. ‘Adding to History’ is at the heart of Black History Month at the College. The opening assembly was led by Dr Spence including the many voices of pupils and teachers which helped the school to reflect and think about how Black History is all our history. See here for more information and a video.

Pupils at The Grammar School at Leeds have created their very own ‘Black History Month’ logo and range of events to run in the lead up to half term.


Pupils at Lady Eleanor Holles School have created Art work for Black History Month. See here.






Colfe’s School’s programme of activities to raise awareness of Black History began this term with a virtual assembly for pupils in Years 7-13 with Mark Lomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at High Speed 2. See here for more information. The school also invited Stuart Lawrence, mentor and younger brother of Stephen Lawrence for a poignant session with Sixth Formers at the school. Learn more here.

Ipswich School will be taking part in a number of events to commemorate Black History Month, including a chance for pupils to educate themselves about prominent black Britons, with a display up outside the dining hall, and also examples throughout the school. See here. On Friday 16 October 2020, the school joined the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ campaign.  Pupils were encouraged to wear an item of red clothing along with their normal uniform to show their stand against racism.

Woldingham School students are joining others around the world by participating in Black History Month. In tutor groups during THRIVE sessions, students examined why Brixton was such an appropriate place for the one of the four Royal Mail commemorative Black History Month postboxes, using this as an opportunity to explore key events such as the arrival of the Windrush and the Brixton Riots. See here for more information.

Guildford High School have set up an Equality Society, created an exhibition, and started a film and book club to educate themselves further about black history in Britain and abroad. See here.

Eton College are commemorating Black History Month this October through a series of talks and lectures, with the Provost, Lord Waldegrave, opening with a talk about Eton’s great Head Master, Robert Birley, an anti-apartheid activist and friend of Nelson Mandela. There will be departmental displays, informal tutorials and school-wide celebration of Black history and culture, which includes a recorded talk or reading which will be sent to everyone each day of October whilst pupils are in school. See here for more information.

Highgate School are marking Black History Month by thinking about references in Highgate’s archives, the earliest dating from the 18th century with reference to Dido Belle, great niece of Lord Mansfield . See here.

At New Hall School, Preparatory Division pupils took part in a Festival of Heroes workshop, creating a colourful assortment of geometric pictures inspired by Louis Mailou-Jones and taking part in engaging Ghanaian stories told by Ade. See here. The school also launched a newest student group: Corpus, a group designed to celebrate and discuss equality and diversity. Learn more here. Students also investigated the careers and achievements of fifty influential people of colour and the school held a Black History Month Creative Writing competition. Students in the Preparatory Division have also been busy engaging in workshops and learning about people such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. They have also been exploring the differences between prejudice and discrimination.

Ashford School have a number of activities taking place which embrace diversity, themes of racial justice and equality, and raise awareness of black history, culture and heritage. In the English department the Reading Challenge list this year is focused around BAME writers and over the summer the students were set the challenge of choosing a book to read from one of these authors. In the History department the younger students have been learning, researching and preparing presentations on non-European and colonial countries involvements in World War 1. Find out more here.

Putney High School is one of the first learning partners of The Black Curriculum project – an enterprise set up last year to address the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum. In the weeks ahead, the school looks forward to a whole range of activities to mark Black British History. Pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 will be choosing a significant figure in Black History to investigate and subsequently present on the schools’ History noticeboard. In Tutor Time, pupils will be transported on a tour of the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee and will be listening to podcasts and TED talks on the Great Migration, Civil Rights activist, Septima Clark and other significant but lesser known figures and events of Black History.

At Queen Anne’s School in Caversham, a group of Sixth Form students have created a video for Black History Month. The video was put together by a collective of Lower Sixth students: Joanna, Zoe and Tilly, with performances from Serana and Rafiah, and edited by Gaia, for Reading Borough Council as part of Black History Month. The music included in this video is an original composition written and performed by Serena.

Trinity School, Croydon, used BHM to help the school community move beyond it as an annual event, and to embed better diversity continuously in their curriculum and culture. Two Sixth Form students interviewed Ansel Wong, who began the BHM initiative in 1987, and his powerful explanation of its origin and purpose was subsequently shown to all students. As a school with nearly 40% of students from BAME backgrounds, Trinity has taken this as the time to seek to listen properly to each others’ experiences of racism, and much has been shared by students and staff. Among other events, a group of Upper Sixth students (and founding members of the Trinity African-Caribbean Society) presented an assembly on aspects of African History (see images from this presentation below), and analysed some of the lyrics of Dave’s song Black. Lower Sixth students watched a screening of Woke, a play about the Black Panthers and Ferguson riots. All this activity is important in raising students’ awareness of this important issue and the school hopes to offer different ways for them to engage meaningfully with it. See more here.



21 October 2020