I was invited to a great event today, 9 October, for the launch of exciting new materials. Trading with Schools in Bristol have introduced a collection of short films to strengthen engagement and confidence in raising the attainment of pupils from Black and Minority Ethnic communities – or pupils from the Global Majority, as the introductory video suggests. The films are available to Bristol schools free of charge; there is a small charge for non-Bristol schools. More information about accessing the films is available at http://www.tradingwithschools.org/News/?id=1342&type=News. This resource has stemmed out of research on Ethnicity and Achievement in Bristol, carried out by Professor Leon Tikly and his team at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. More information about this project, and a link to the Making the Difference report, are available at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/people/project/1527. The launch event was held at The Mansion House in Bristol and included presentations from the local authority, the research team and a range of representatives of the Global Majority from local schools. Central to the production of the new materials, and to the launch event, was TV presenter Sherrie Eugene-Hart.
Before the start of the event I was talking to a sixth form student who, as it turned out, was there to speak alongside his mother on the importance of parental engagement. He was very interested in CSIE’s forthcoming resource pack, asked if young people have had a say in the content and, when I said this has not extended beyond pupils in participating schools, offered to bring together a group of pupils from his school to cast a fresh eye over emerging materials. Delighted at this prospect, I thanked him and accepted the generous offer.
All the presentations at the launch event were interesting and engaging. I was particularly excited to hear from Global Majority staff and pupils from a local school who presented their Going for Gold programme (a programme originating from Oxford and designed to help raise achievement for Global Majority pupils by helping them feel secure and proud about their heritage and develop skills in conflict resolution and dealing with racism) and their newly formed society that operates as an action group to celebrate difference and promote equality within the school. Considering our new resource pack recommends that pupils form precisely such groups, I plan to contact this school and explore the possibility of a last-minute contribution to the materials.
During the event I found myself increasingly attracted to the new term Global Majority, finding this infinitely more powerful than Black and Minority Ethnic, and plan to write to all involved in the production of our new resource, to suggest that we begin using this term too. I already have, in this post!