Bedford Borough Council - School Improvement Services
A report on our work with Show Racism the Red Card 2010-11. The report includes work done with young people and teacher training.
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‘The activities really made pupils think, challenged stereotypes they weren't aware they had, they were suitable for all abilities and most of all, were fun!’
- Middle School teacher
The Borough began working with ‘Show racism the red card’ (SRTRC) back in March 2010 when, having agreed to provide funding to support the charity’s work in our schools, a pilot workshop was held at Beauchamp Middle School. Following a publicity campaign which included an official launch event at The Bedfordshire Police Headquarters in June ’10, sixteen of our schools (9 Lowers and 7 Middles) signed up to work with SRTRC in delivering workshops to students.
Members of the School Improvement Team visited schools to see this work first-hand and were able to report that the workshops were very well received by both the staff and students in our schools. The staff working for SRTRC made the sessions engaging and fun whilst exploring the current issues around racist attitudes and beliefs. The schools have committed to continuing this work using some of the excellent resources provided by SRTRC and many are keen to provide further workshops next year.
As well as leading workshops in schools, the SRTRC team have led staff training in schools, have enabled school teachers to attend regional training events and have championed the work undertaken in our schools. One of our schools, Alban Middle, made such an impression that staff and students were invited to speak at the SRTRC annual showcase event in London in November. Since then, the school have also spoken at a Bedford Borough Learning Exchange meeting in March where they addressed the Head teachers of all the schools in the Borough about their work with SRTRC.
We believe that the work undertaken by SRTRC in schools is crucial in helping to provide our youngsters with the knowledge and understanding to develop positive attitudes towards racial equality in our society. Staff in schools welcome the support offered by SRTRC to supplement the curriculum and raise awareness amongst our young people to current issues based around racial attitudes. In addition, the students enjoy the mix of practical activity sessions and classroom-based workshops delivered by skilled practitioners, many of whom are ex-professional sports people. The following comments from some of the staff in our schools emphasise the value of the work to our schools :-
‘The discussions that took place led by the activities that they participated in gave the children a real opportunity to talk about and share their concepts and misconceptions about racism. The facilitators really knew how to tap into the issues of importance and get the children thinking about others and their own feelings.’ Lower School teacher.
‘Pupils examined what racism is, the influence of the media, recounts of racism experienced personally by the visiting stars and how to deal with racist behaviour. The pupils also participated in a football coaching session which was great fun and thoroughly enjoyed. The pupils now realise clearly that racism takes many forms and know how to recognise racism and what they should do about it.’ Middle School teacher