Roundhill Primary School in Bath has launched a task force to take positive action on Equality in Education and calls on other local schools to join them.
Head Teacher Sue Adams is a passionate advocate for inclusive education and the recent Black Lives Matter events prompted her to take further action, so she set up the Roundhill Equality Working Party. The group brings together staff from across the school with parents, pupils and members of the community, all working towards a more equitable approach to education. Priorities include reviewing leadership, curriculum, staff, pupils, pupils’ progress and the wider community.
The group has already begun its mission by ensuring its library and book corners are relevant to all young people and that the book selection reflects the diverse history and cultures of Britain. Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, the Friends of Roundhill Primary was able to provide £1,000 towards bringing more diversity to the school’s book stock. Sue has introduced new stories, literature and non-fiction for all ages.
“Choosing this selection of has been such an exciting experience,” explained Sue. “There are so many fantastic books on offer that I know all our children will enjoy. One of my favourites is I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah Bobo. It’s a picture book with text and illustrations that features and celebrates children of many different backgrounds and promotes self-esteem, love, respect and kindness to others.”
Teacher Leona Thompson added, “We also love The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander. It’s a very powerful and moving poem, suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils. The illustrations carefully depict the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the passion and determination of the civil rights movement, and celebrate the perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text introduces deep insights into the accomplishments and endurance of people in the past and the present.’
Other group members are equally enthusiastic about the new books. Jo Bond, school librarian recommends The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjalia Q Rauf. “It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I found myself smiling, crying and many emotions in between! The book is beautifully written in a child’s voice, and deals with friendship, kindness and resilience.”
Sue added, “I’m determined that our work on improving all kinds of equality won’t be limited just to special months or weeks in the school year. This is something that as a school, we need to be thinking about every day, all year round. There’s certainly plenty to do but we’re all delighted to have been able to take some positive steps with this lovely collection of books.
“I’d love to hear from other teachers and head teachers in BANES and Wiltshire if they are interested in sharing ideas on developing an inclusive curriculum.”