Show Racism the Red Card

Thank you to all the children and parents who supported ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ by wearing red and donating to this anti-racist charity. We are very happy to announce that we raised £440!

We started the day by watching the video provided by the charity and watched by schools across the country. This included some of the history of racism, as well as some current day incidents. We discussed the importance of knowing about this confronting side of our British history. In our classrooms, we carried on the conversation started in assembly and took part in different age-appropriate activities to reinforce the children’s understanding and to help them to feel empowered to do their part in making our community and wider-society a fairer, kinder place.

Here are some of the activities that we took part in:

The Year 6s used drama to enact racist scenarios and discuss the feelings being evoked and possible next steps. In Year 5 we focused on the portrayal of immigrants in the media. We looked at some of the headlines written about immigrants and migrants and how these negatively and often falsely portrayed these people. Interestingly, when asked to predict the percent of immigrants in the UK, we all over-estimated the percent which further emphasised the influence of the media on our perception of immigration.

The Year 4s completed the activity ‘Racism or Respect,’ where they wrote words associated with both terms, bringing out the idea that all words associated with the word ‘racism’ are negative, whilst those associated with ‘respect’ are positive. Doing this underscored one of the reasons why we need to prevent racism and encourage respect amongst each other. The Year 3s created a poster of the key points that they wanted to share to support anti-racism.

In Year the children discussed and celebrated their differences. They then used role play and discussion to explore some examples of racist behaviour, recognised what about them was unacceptable and thought about how these actions could make someone feel. The Year 1s took part in activity. They had to stand up if their characteristics were read out, such as having blonde hair or brown hair. We were then told that children with brown hair are more intelligent than children with blonde hair. We then discussed how this made us feel and whether it was fair. Finally we linked our feelings and experience to how those who suffer from racism would feel, and discussed what to do if we or others experience racism.

In Reception the children had a circle time to explore and celebrate each other’s uniqueness and identify their similarities such as activities they enjoy doing or places they like visiting.

This is not a one off day for us. We know that every single person has a responsibility to help stand up to racism.  Next term, we look forward to spending a whole unit in Relationships and Health Education on ‘Valuing Difference’.

To finish we want to point you towards, a poem by the Manchester musician and poet, J. Chambers, who wrote it for the beginning of Black History Month two years ago. He composed it for children under the age of 11 and wanted it to be something that younger children would ‘get’ – something that he wished he had heard when he was younger. It is called ‘Letter To Self’ and he is now 30, talking to his 10 year old self.

‘Letter to Self’:

'Letter to Self' by J. Chambers

I write this 20 years your senior,

With the demeanour of making a change,

Know that the light in you,

is the spark for adults see the error of ways. Funny thing about history,

Is being the change you want to see.

The chains are now broken,

Though hate is still spoken,

What’s really the difference between you and me. Every struggle is overcome,

With focus and poise,

Walk tall with pride and with purpose

Make use of your voice.

Knowing where you come from

Helps you see where you’re headed.

Though we learn from old mistakes,

We must never forget it

Know your skin is sealed

With the promise of a brighter day

From the tears of every ancestor

Who has fought for freedom along the way.

Know your history is more than slavery

There were Empires, Dynasties,

A whole world to explore,

Eclipsed by a momentary struggles we had endure.

The future is yours,

With an open mind and heart,

Though I have to pass the heavy baton,

For you to continue the fight

for the simple freedoms which we marched.

Be street smart, power is abused

But it can be also used to support,

If its captured through the lens,

It can defend your friends,

And disprove judgemental thoughts.

One of the qualities of equality

Is that we each play a part.

So we all have to speak up,

For change to really start.

Acknowledge each other in spaces,

With a nod to put a smile on your elders faces. Follow your instinct and I promise it will

Always take you to better places.

I may be black history

But you are black future.

More than a month, though less than a year

Change is coming and that’s what some fear.

Black is Beautiful.