This term we explored the impact Black individuals have made on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM). 

We kick-started our project off with several launch events including a trip to the Science Museum, Dance workshops in the style of Alvin Ailey, a Frank Bowling virtual art exhibition and exploration and the Museum of London’s online exhibitions on the Windrush and Mary Seacole. During ‘Knowledge Week,’ the pupils learnt about significant individuals including Mary Seacole, Benjamin Banneker, Frank Bowling, Katherine Johnson, Harriet Tubman and Walter Tull. The pupils then focused on a series of books called ‘Bold Leaders’, which shared the stories of key Black individuals in a child-friendly book format. Using ‘Talk for Writing’, the pupils wrote their own page for ‘Bold Black Leaders in STEAM, Gesher edition’, which made numerous books between the two classes. They designed reading activities around their writing including word searches, puzzles and games. Our exhibition was held at Alexandra School to a group of Year 5 students. We created two video products: our Alvin Ailey style dance and our Frank Bowling Art Installations.

Teacher’s Reflection

“I’m so incredibly proud of the children during this topic as they were so open and excited to learn about a new community. Most of the children previous to this had quite a few misunderstandings around the Black community and it was great to address these and to see the children become advocators of the community. The children gravitated toward Black individuals that had made a change in the world and their biographies were focused on who they wanted to write about. I loved linking this topic to Science and having the children design their own parachutes, just like how Harriet Tubman designed the London Underground. This topic gave our children a chance to have their own voice and to stand up for what they believe is right and fair!” – Emily Bacon

“This project was my favourite. I felt it worked well because we had a social purpose and the pupils could see their impact. Writing to the Science Museum in small groups was an excellent addition to the project. The quality of the products has also continued to improve and the pupils seem very motivated by the process. Presenting our work to another school was also a wonderful opportunity although it came with some of its own challenges. Many of the pupils were embarrassed or dysregulated meaning they did not showcase their work. However, the building of a relationship was a really important step for our school. Next time, I would spend more time working on presentation skills or emphasising the importance of us showcasing our work to another school.” – Rowan Eggar

Student Reflection

“I really liked when we wrote letters to the science museum. l was sad there was no black history. Next time I would like to go back to the science museum to see if anything has changed. I didn’t enjoy walking to the post box.”

– Chaim

“I really enjoyed the trip to the other school and showing them our work. Next time I would like to visit the school again to go to the playground. We could share our topic about electricity. I didn’t enjoy that there was nothing there at the science museum about black history.”

– Jacob