Celebrating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Black History Month 2023
The theme of Black History Month 2023 was ‘Dig deeper, Look closer, Think bigger’, with an additional focus on 'Saluting our Sisters', with the aim of shining a spotlight on the contributions of black females from the past to the present day.
As such, both themes were explored in assemblies and a number of events taking place throughout October, including;
- Dance and drumming workshops: all students in KS3 experienced either an African Dance or African Drumming workshop
- Assemblies: students and staff delivered themed assemblies to students
- Art Exhibition: Student art works were displayed at student entrance
- Chef: we were lucky to have a chef come into school to cook a traditional dish to be served at lunch time with some of our sixth form students
- Black entrepreneur marketplace: students in Yr 10, 12 & 13 experienced a carousel of careers advice, with several local business owners offering their mentorship
- Cooking masterclasses: a number of our teachers of African and Caribbean heritage shared some of their favourite cultural dishes
- Poetry and Book competitions: all students were invited to take part in our Poetry, and Book Review Competitions of celebrated black author
- Culture clubs: our teachers ran Culture Clubs where students learnt and shared in the cultures of their teachers and peers
- Motivational speaker: We were thrilled to welcome Lorraine Wright MBE, to HAOC to speak with students (https://champions-speakers.co.uk/speaker-agent/lorraine-wright)
African Drumming Workshop
Art Exhibition at Student Entrance
Languages Week, September 2023
At HAOC, we have a culture of embodying diversity, kindness, and curiosity, we have always known that our students are our biggest assets, whose every language and every background deserves to be celebrated.
- A Languages Week assembly during form time, celebrating HAOC's cultural diversity and showing how multilingualism can benefit students both physically and socially
- Staff and students filled in and displayed posters explaining why speaking multiple languages was important to them personally
- International music played every morning at the student entrance
- 'Around the World' themed food was provided in the canteen, with a different type of cuisine available each day
- World flags were displayed around the school
- Our top linguists and multilingual students were celebrated via the school's display screens
- Online and digital resources were created and shared among students to promote and encourage language learning (e.g.: Duolingo classroom; Chrome Web Extension for Netflix and Youtube)
- An after-school cinema event where all year groups were invited to watch a non-English film in the main hall
Culture Day July 2023
What did we do?
- Students and staff wore traditional attire and displayed flags representing their cultural background
- In form time and lessons, discussions took place about the importance of cultural diversity and the historical and religious contexts of Windrush, Eid and Refugee week
- We held a cultural dress display during lunch breaks
- Students attended assemblies on Windrush, Eid and refugee week
This was a fantastic opportunity for our whole school community to come together, and celebrate our diverse backgrounds.
Pride month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
At HAOC we celebrated PRIDE by…
- Delivering an assembly on the history of the LGBTQ+ community and what it means to be part of it
- Continuing our student PRIDE club on Monday KS3 lunch and Tuesday KS4 lunch, for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies
- Designing lessons that are LGBTQ+ inclusive
- The student EDI team created posters which were put up around the school
- The LGBTQ+ student team sold progress flag badges
- The EDI team created a music playlist which was played at student entrance in the mornings
- Flags were put up down main corridors
- Students wearing different coloured t-shirts gathered on the school field to create a Human Pride Flag
International Women's Day 2023
Harris Academy Ockendon were proud to host our first ever girls football tournament on Wednesday 22nd March 2023.
We worked in partnership with the Kinetic Foundation, in celebration of International Women's Day and the FA's “#LetGirlsPlay” campaign with the aim of getting as many girls playing football in one day as possible!
Eight other local schools joined the tournament from across the Harris Federation and Borough with over 160 girls taking part in the event! All girls involved played exceptionally well and the standard of football throughout the day was amazing to see.
All the semi-finals finished 0-0 and ended up going to penalty shoot outs. This meant the day ended with a close final for both year group pools! Congratulations to the overall medal winners...
Harris Chafford Hundred
Our home team played really well against some tough opposition, finishing 4th in the year 7/8 pool and 5th in the year 9/10 pool.
We are very much looking forward to hosting the event again next year!
Black History Month 2022
The 2022 theme was 'Time for change, Action not words', which was explored in school during October. The following is an outline of some of the activities we ran during the month.
- Assembly - Students delivered parts of their year group assemblies to other year groups
- Mini videos – Students participated in a short video, to tell us about their background, sharing how their culture is celebrated and what Black History Month means to them.
- Culture Day - Staff of black ethnic origin, were invited to wear something to school, which showcased their cultural heritage and traditions. Students were also invited to participate.
- Cultural evening of celebration - The sixth form team with student Principals, and other members of student parliament organised a cultural evening of celebration. This included a number of acts showcasing, music, dance, drama, readings and many more. The evening was open to staff and students; we were also able to serve some cuisine of black culture during the evening too.
- Music and/or dance workshops – These were held throughout the two weeks. All students encountered one workshop. KS3 students experienced an African dance workshop and KS4 & 5 students experienced an African drumming workshop.
- Culture club – We ran a ‘Culture Club’ which celebrated diversity. Included were a range of activities and talks based around cultures with a black origin.
- Form Time Activity – in form students had time to share stories about who their inspirational figures are, these were collected, and displayed in the school.
- A movie night - we screened 'The Help' for students in the Main Hall after school. This was open to all students and staff.
- Cuisine of black cultural food was served in the canteen
- Art exhibition - celebrating our own students' work
- Music - played at student entrance during the mornings in October whilst students arrived
- Inspirational posters, enquiry questions and activities in lessons, which were displayed in classrooms and student entrance so all students could see the inspirational figures selected.
Cuisine from other cultures
As part of Black History Month, we would like to encourage families to try dishes from other cultures.
Jollof rice is a rice dish from West Africa. The dish is typically made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables, and meat in a single pot, although its ingredients and preparation methods vary across different regions.
Why not try one of the recipes below at home:
Ghana Jollof rice
Nigeria Jollof rice
Senegal Jollof rice
Black History Month 2021
Each year in October we mark Black History Month, which provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and honour the accomplishments of Black Britons in every area of endeavour throughout British history.
At Harris Academy Ockendon we are proud to be able to reflect on these achievements throughout a range of activities and assemblies during the month.
Here, students explored the theme of ‘Proud to be’, during assemblies, and created some fantastic pieces of art which were exhibited at our main student entrance.
Staff are also actively involved by each selecting a powerful and inspirational black figure who made a significant impact politically, socially, or culturally, either here in Britain or around the globe, and designing a poster to display in their classroom to encourage curiosity and engagement.
The activities that take place during Black History Month open up some interesting and varied discussions between students and staff, and allow us to explore further, the impact some of our inspirational black figures made to British and global history.