Black history curriculum to be piloted in Bristol

A school curriculum designed to teach children about Bristol’s black history is to be introduced following a series of public meetings.

Three local institutions held four City Conversations after a report by the Runnymede Trust highlighted Bristol’s “ethnic minority disadvantages”.

The new curriculum will be introduced as a pilot project.

Phil Castang, from Bristol Music Trust, said it would allow “a more equitable representation of black history”.

Mr Castang, who is facilitating the project, said it would provide an “understanding of how black culture and black British culture has shaped our world, both locally in Bristol and more widely in Britain, and globally”.

Much of Bristol’s wealth came from the Transatlantic slave trade. The city has been attempting to confront its past.

The events were jointly organised by the Bristol Post, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre and Ujima Radio.

Aisha Thomas, assistant principal, of City Academy, said a recent meet-up of schools had shown that black history was not taught well enough.

“Just recently [her students] went to Bristol University and had an almost inter-school competition which was looking at ‘what do you know about black history?’

“And what was quite disheartening, in particular for City Academy students, particularly when we are 85% BME, is that those students lost the quiz.

“They pulled me aside and said ‘Miss, how on earth can we as the ‘black school’ lose? We should have more information than anyone else about what’s happening in Bristol, about what’s happening in our history and our curriculum.”

City Conversation pledges:

  • Create a Bristol curriculum to tell Bristol’s history truthfully and without bias, and provide better educational outcomes
  • Achieve better representation at board/governance level
  • Tackle employment inequality to achieve better representation in the general workplace
  • Find a way to commemorate the city’s relationship with the Transatlantic slave trade

First Published 05.02.19:

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