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Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK, which celebrates the achievements of black men and women in the past and today.  Here at OWPS, we have been celebrating Black History Month throughout the school in the following ways:

The Library – by Mrs Campling, Librarian

Have you heard of Paul Stephenson? What about Ira Aldridge? Or Joan Armatrading? Dr Shirley Thompson?


These people all have something in common: they are all black men and women who made (or are still making!) history in Britain. Often during Black History Month, we can think of well-known activists like Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr, who were instrumental in changing black lives in the USA, but it’s harder to think of British individuals. One of the things to come out of some of the events of this year has been a rise in understanding that the UK’s collective knowledge of black history has some serious gaps. That’s why Mrs Morris & I decided that for this year’s Black History Month, we would buy and highlight some new biographies of black individuals who either campaigned for civil rights or were movers and shakers in their particular field. Some of them have already been borrowed and there are more coming later in the year, as we update our non-fiction shelves in the library! 


On the Black History Month display in the library, we have biographies of people like Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, but also people like Simone Biles (Olympic gymnast) and Katherine Johnson (mathematician). There are also two fact-files of black men and women who made history in Britain. Why not have a look and see if you know who they are before reading their bios?

Head Teacher’s Assembly


On Monday 12th October, Mr Eardley’s virtual assembly was all about Black History Month. Watched by each class from Year One up to Year Six, it explained the reasons behind celebrating Black History Month and was linked to the theme of the week, which was ‘Tolerance’.

The children were fascinated to learn about race relations in America in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, they learnt about Rosa Parks and the 1955 Bus Boycott in Chicago.  Mr Eardley also celebrated the achievements of Mary Seacole, Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama, Usain Bolt and Lewis Hamilton.

History Lessons


Mrs Morris, History Lead, has compiled a list of texts for classes to read during Black History Month:


Wilma Rudolph 

Year 1 

Aretha Franklin 

Year 2 

Muhammad Ali 

Year 3 

Josephine Baker 

Year 4 

Martin Luther King Jr  

Year 5 

Mahatma Gandhi 

Year 6 

Harriet Tubman 

The books are all part of the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ series, which introduces young readers to inspiring people in history, politics, music, arts, design, science and sports.

Celebrations in Class

To celebrate Black History Month in the Iguanas, the class has been reading about Aretha Franklin. Mrs Ironside tweeted that the children had had a stimulating discussion about equality, human rights and racism, and learnt about lots of new genres of music (gospel, jazz, doo wap, pop, soul).



To celebrate Black History Month in the Toucans, the class have been reading Stand Up, Shout Out. Each day, Miss Tansley is sharing a profile with the Toucans to recognise some of the famous people who have shaped black history.