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Anti-Racism at Earlham

The Curriculum

At Earlham we believe in having a truly inclusive curriculum, where pupils can learn about Black British and Asian British history, thus equipping them with a powerful sense of identity. We recognise the importance of teaching discrete ‘Black History Month’ lessons, but in addition to this a key theme in our whole History curriculum and teaching is how the UK has developed and that it has long been a place of immigration, invasion and settlement, challenging any fixed concepts of what British is and who is British.

We include lesser known people of colour who have had an impact upon UK history for example Septimius Severus, one of the greatest Roman Warrior Emperors who ever came to Britain who was of African heritage and had a lasting legacy upon the City of London through building fortress walls to protect it from attacks from the North, today known as The Square Mile. We also highlight the presence of Black Tudor royal trumpeter, John Blanke who performed in the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII, and remains the only black Tudor for whom we have an identifiable image. While serving two kings, he bore witness to some of the great moments in England's history and contributed to some of the greatest spectacles of the Tudor age.

Examples of units of learning in our History Curriculum are ‘The British Empire’ and ‘The Windrush’ in year 5 and from our Geography curriculum- ‘Our Global Village,’ year 2 and ‘The World on the Move’ year 5. We examine the positive impact that immigration and migration has had upon our city and country and are working in partnership with Malayalee Association of the UK (a Newham based charity organisation) to plan an exciting new case study unit ‘Changing Communities’.  We encourage our pupils to use both history and geography knowledge to critically examine social issues today and foster a greater sense of belonging.

As important as having fact based knowledge about how the UK came to be the diverse place it is today, we believe it is equally important to be mindful to reflect this diversity in our choices of literature and content across the wider curriculum. In our English Curriculum we use a range of authors and poets from different cultures and countries; our pupils can recognise themselves, their families and experiences in picture books and class serial reads. We explore and celebrate Black and Asian women and men of historical, scientific, political and sporting significance in our non fiction texts and in our Reciprocal Reading sessions. Our Art and Music Curriculums explore the works of artists and musicians from a range of countries and cultures, for example Tam Joseph, Aboriginal and Middle Eastern artwork, Labi Siffre, Nina Simone and Rita Ora.

We also use a range of carefully chosen anti racism texts to support both our PSHE Curriculum teaching ‘Celebrating Difference’ and as well as for a series of assemblies across the year. Reciprocal Reading and Oracy are two great opportunities for challenging racism through supported discussions, using some of these texts as a springboard for conversation and debate. This is particularly impactful in our Oracy Assemblies. Our year 6 pupils attend the Racial Justice Youth Summit annually. 


Just as it is important for our pupils to feel a sense of belonging and identify through their curriculum learning, their physical environment must also foster this. Walk around Earlham and you will see images that reflect the diverse ethnic makeup of our school. Black and Asian women and men of significance are displayed in our corridors and shared spaces and there is a joyful set of photographs of Earlham pupils from all different ethnic backgrounds in pride of place on our school walls. 

Staff Learning

In order to do all the above sensitively and successfully, especially anti racism teaching, staff need to be highly trained. We are an ‘Education For Change’ school so we receive excellent leadership and training in this area. Ms Omar is our E4C Ambassador, and along with Headteacher Ms Robinson, has received extensive professional development from E4C on becoming an anti racist school. This knowledge is then shared, explored and developed with the whole staff team through a series of Directed Learning sessions. We continually review our provision and practise. 


We have a comprehensive ‘Equality and Diversity’ policy and Anti racism is weaved through many of our other policies. For example, in the ‘Behaviour and Relationships’ draft policy racial trauma is given consideration as part of our Trauma Informed School Approach. 

It is of utmost importance to the Headteacher that Earlham’s staff reflect the cultural diversity of the children at all levels, including Senior Leadership and Governors. Our pupils must be able to see role models who look like them in positions of authority and influence. 



Bowl out Racism

Earlham supported the Bowl Out Racism campaign and enjoyed a visit from the Cricket World Cup! 



Dear Natalie   

Thank you very much for your time on Wednesday and it was inspirational to meet you and your colleagues and some wonderful Year 6 children.

Your curriculum work and anti-racist focus demonstrated the school’s commitment to several Eko Trust values including Equity, Integrity and Courage.  Your personal story is a key driver for you and such resilience was also reflected on the walls of your school as a key part of the ethos of Earlham. 

My special thanks to arranging to talk with the Year 6 children. Their understanding of discrimination in all forms was very mature and they are a credit to you and you colleagues.  It was moving to hear them say that we should ‘Embrace yourself and others’ and to talk of the ‘Beauty of each unique person.’

The secondary schools they go to will be very lucky to have them.  Thank you.

Best wishes


Vivienne Porritt OBE 

Leadership Consultant

Strategic Leader of #WomenEd

Vice President of Chartered College of Teaching

Non-Exec Director of Captiva Learning Ltd

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