ECA Celebrates Black History Month in schools in Enfield and Waltham Forrest

Palmers Green Library Windrush Wonders_3

ECA celebrated Black History Month with a series of school activities taking place across the borough throughout the month of October.

This year was the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilsbury, Essex. It was also a key theme of the Black History Month celebration of many schools across the UK. Windrush Wonders author and illustrator Kamilah McInnis and Kenya Josiah went back to school, visiting a number of schools including Oakthorpe Primary School, Prince of Wales School, Hazelwood school in Enfield and Normanhurst School in Chingford in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Hundreds of primary school children were delighted and entertained by the stories of Windrush Wonders read by author Kamilah. This led to further ideas and discussions about the wonderful colourful illustrations with Kenya. Enfield libraries also joined the action, by sponsoring a workshop session with children at the Palmers Green Library. A group of young children and their parents, with age ranging from babies in arms to mature nine years absorbed the energies of Windrush Wonders, for a thoroughly enjoyable workshop with Kamilah and Kenya.

Putting faces to the Windrush generation

The Windrush Voices pop-up exhibition was also on display at Edmonton County School for a week in October.

This pop-up exhibition summarises the back stories, as well as the real lives of 20 members of the Windrush Generation who lived in Enfield and other parts of north London. The exhibition complements the book and film documentary which explores the real lives of these individuals, who all took advantage of the 1948 British Nationality Act inviting citizens of the ‘United Kingdom and Colonies’ to ‘return to the mother country.’ They joined the nearly half a million people leaving the British West Indies for Britain.

According to Fola AdeKola, Assistant Headteacher and Director of Inclusion at Edmonton County School, “I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Enfield Caribbean Association for setting up the Windrush pop-up exhibition at our school as part of our Black History Month celebration.

The exhibition was a key feature of our celebration as we had students and parents taking photos of the exhibition as they read the stories of individuals and their experiences. This exhibition certainly enriched our celebrations by allowing us to put ‘faces’ on the Windrush generation. The Windrush came alive!”

FREE Windrush Teaching Resources

In July, ECA launched its Windrush Voices: Windrush Teaching Resources for Secondary Students at the TES (Times Educational Supplement) website. The resource pack is free and empowers teachers to teach the legacy of Windrush to school children in secondary schools.

This unit of work focusses on 6 lessons that span PSHE, Humanities and English. The learning goal across the whole unit is to introduce students to the Windrush story as well as delve into personal accounts that shed a unique light on the experiences of African and Caribbean people.

The lessons are a series of PowerPoints that can be taught in any sequence and even can be used as one-off lessons. They can also be adapted for both KS3 and KS4. The materials are unique as they include video footage of members of the Windrush generation that have never been released. All the lessons have accompanying booklets to assist with the lessons.

The Windrush Voices film documentary was also screened at The Fore Street Library, as part of the Edmonton Untold festival.

Posted: October 30, 2023