Introducing Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble annouces groundbreaking new Black History curriculum, developed by Hackney teachers and council staff.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Education
This week sees a groundbreaking change in how Hackney teaches young people about Black History. Devised by our teachers and funded by Hackney Council, ‘Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution’ will enlighten young people with an education not just about the history of Black people, but about a history that belongs to us all. I would like to thank the teachers, our roundtable participants, Orlene Badu and our website team for making my aspiration for the Black Curriculum a reality. 

We are providing 9 teaching packs, each with a 6-week lesson plan, free to all schools in Hackney and welcome and encourage other boroughs to use them in their own classrooms. 

The curriculum provides access and insight to many untold or neglected stories that lie within the DNA of Britain. They honour the importance of the journeys Black people made to the UK, while acknowledging the contributions they make to our society. 

Hackney's Diverse Curriculum has been released within Hackney’s Black History Season but learning about our Black roots is a year round affair. Earlier this year we committed ourselves to becoming an anti racist borough and this work supports how we are working hard to keep to that promise. 

We want to present this important part of British history as an essential part of education. The lessons are designed for Early Years through to KS3 and 4 students - a time where young people are beginning to appreciate, understand and question the diversity of their community. 

They will discover a catalogue of Black stories across the ages from the arrival of Windrush to the significance of the British Empire’s rule. They will inspire debate and investigate activism. They will also add context not only to our past, but our future as we look to next year’s Windrush artwork which will see Hackney welcome the UK’s first permanent sculptures to honour the Windrush generation. 

Hackney's Diverse Curriculum - the Black Contribution is also vital to understanding why we have launched a review into the naming of our public spaces and why the names of historical slave owners of the past need interrogating today. I am pleased to have begun this work alongside my colleague Cllr Payne. After consulting with all Labour councils, we have unanimously agreed to review the appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land and council property. 

Again I would like to thank the diligent and passionate work of our teachers for curating this rich and insightful curriculum. As well as providing balance to how we teach our history in our schools, we hope it will inspire a more tolerant and inclusive-minded community. 

In the spirit of sharing, we welcome other boroughs or educators to access the Diverse Curriculum and adapt and use within their own method of teaching. We look forward to hearing back on how the work resonates with both teachers and students in the coming months and look forward to building upon this work in the years to come. 

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