500 schools sign up for Hackney’s groundbreaking new Black History curriculum

In just one month, over 500 schools across the UK have joined forces with Hackney Council to diversify the school curriculum with the aim to ensure Black British history is taught in all schools. 

‘Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution’ is a nine-week lesson plan spanning from Early Years to KS3 and 4 students. Developed by Hackney Council and local teachers, the packs were delivered to all Hackney schools in October and are also available to teachers across the UK. 

Nearly 400 schools signed up in the first week alone, with about 200 schools in London now using the curriculum, as well as schools right across the country.

The curriculum features over 50 modules which can be adapted for the needs of students and used at any time. Modules include: 

  • When I Grow Up (for Early Years)
  • The Windrush Generation, Activism
  • Untold Stories, Stories of our Lives
  • British Identity
  • Diversity in Science, Windrush; an exploration of British History
  • Windrush Past and Present

The curriculum will enrich work already being done to teach Black British history and complements the Council’s Black Lives Matter Motion revealed in June 2020. Earlier this month, Hackney Council also sent a Black history poster map celebrating the borough’s local Black landmarks and legacies to all its schools and residents as part of their Black History Season.

Our Lady’s Catholic school in Hackney welcomed the new curriculum and was one of the first schools to try a lesson exploring the presence of Afro-Romans in Britain in AD43. Headteacher Justine McDonald said: “I want all of our students to feel they belong, to have a strong sense of identity, of cultural heritage and to understand themselves and others. I want them to have the tools to be confident about who they are and how they can contribute to our society and communities.” 

    Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education
    Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, said: “To see so many schools take up our new curriculum proves both a desire and a thirst for this vital education. These packs will help teachers deliver the message that Black history is British history and will ensure students from an early age understand and appreciate the diversity of our country. I want to thank the teachers and staff who enabled my aspiration to make this a reality and to all the schools so far who have welcomed it into their classrooms.”

    Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education

    Notes for editors

    • Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution will be sent via email to all Hackney Schools and is available upon request by schools outside of the borough.
    • Funded by Hackney Council.
    • The lesson plans are designed for Early years through to KS3 and 4 students.