• 27 October 2023

A Review of Black History Month at Cranleigh School

As we reach the end of October, we are proud to share the incredible efforts of our School community who came together…

As we reach the end of October, we are proud to share the incredible efforts of our School community who came together to celebrate Black History Month. This year the theme was Saluting Our Sisters, dedicated to recognising Black Women across the world.

Departments across the School held a variety of events and special dedicated activities and classes in honour of the theme.

Our English department participated in the National Black History Month Poetry Competition, held by the Official Black History Month organisation. Pupils were encouraged to create a poem about a woman who has inspired them either personally or within a chosen field. The poems will be judged nationally by literature and poetry experts and winners of the competition will be revealed on the 21st March 2024, on World Poetry Day. Furthermore, the winning poems will be published nationally in a poetry book to honour the occasion. Best of luck to all pupils involved!

Award-winning poet, Yomi Ṣode, visited the school for a special literary evening with our Sixth Form pupils, sharing work from his recently published book Manorism. The book was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize. Read more about Yomi’s visit here.

Our Business Studies department invited Serlina Boyd, CEO of Cocoa Girl, to talk to our pupils about becoming an entrepreneur, managing a brand and her inspiration for her company. It was wonderful to welcome Serlina and for her to share such inspirational words with our pupils, more so during the month dedicated to celebrating the incredible achievements of Black Women. To read more about Serlina’s visit, read here.

Our Music department rose to the occasion in celebrating and sharing the talent of Black Musicians, in the form of a Daily Essential Listening Playlist. Mr Saxel, Director of Music, shared with all of our pupils and staff on a daily basis a song by a Black Musician to listen to on Spotify, and shared a paragraph or two about their importance and significance. This year, our annual Cranleigh Live!  concert had a theme of Funk and Soul, which involved pupil performances of music from Black musicians from around the world. Further events within our Music department included a screening of Chevalier, the true story of Black composer, Joseph Bologne. Our String Quartet then performed works from Bologne at the Music Award Holders’ Concert.

The Art department took a group of pupils from the Upper Sixth to the Courtauld Gallery London, to see an exhibition of works from the artist, Claudette Johnson, one of the most significant Black female artists of her generation.

Our Science and MFL departments both held poster competitions, where pupils were tasked with creating posters about significant women in these fields. Pupils studying science created posters about Black Women in STEM, where pupils studying Spanish focused on Cuban and Hispanic cultures and pupils studying French focused on French-speaking women.

Our IT department created an interactive timeline of Black historical figures, and a variety of display screens marking Black History Month showed across screens in both boarding houses and around the School. Houses also enjoyed watching a variety of films such as Hidden Figures, highlighting Black Women in STEM.

The History department conducted a Fourth Form project focused on abolition and held a Knoller Society talk on race relations in Britain post WW2.

Finally, our Diversity Alliance group and Anti-Racism society recognised Black History Month in their meetings, and also sampled some tasty Caribbean snacks and drinks, allowing our pupils to experience food from different cultures.

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