Cultural Bias Work

Introduction

Over the course of the last two year Shoreditch Park Primary School (SPPS) has been working towards becoming a Culturally Proficient school setting and on this page you will find more information about our journey to date and our ambition for the future.

Over 2020/21 all the staff at Shoreditch Park Primary School received a year-long CPD (Continuous professional Development) programme to raise awareness of Cultural Bias delivered by Orlene Badu. Modules included:

  • Cultural Bias
  • Racial Identity
  • Legacies of Empire: Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

At the same time as the above was taking place Shoreditch Park’s commitment to tackling cultural bias was made prioritised through the update of the Equalities Policy and inclusion in the School Development Plan 20/21.

Lindsey, Nuri and Terrell, Cultural Proficiency for School Leaders (1999, 2001)

Cultural Bias Steering Group

Following the first CPD session, a diverse cross-section of  SPPS staff came together to form a Cultural Bias Steering Group to take forward our learning and decide whole school priorities in line with the CPD.  Our first job was to plan Black History Month 2021 to ensure it was relevant and immersive for all the pupils at SPPS.

Black History Month 2021

The theme for BHM 2021 was Proud to Be, we decided to make this even more relevant for our school community by celebrating the theme  Proud to Black Hackney.  Lessons covered:

  • The history of carnival in hackney and its importance to the residents of Hackney.
  • Exploring Black history and culture within the borough of Hackney
  • Understand what cultures are represented in Hackney
  • Understanding what is meant by representation and knowing who our MP is in Hackney

We also organised for Hackney residents to come into school and speak to our children about why they are proud to be Black in Hackney and talk about their experiences.  Over the month of October, all assemblies celebrated our theme culminating in  Diane Abbot MP recording a video to answer some of the questions our children posed to her about her experience of being Black in Hackney.

Whole school priorities for 2021/22

Priority 1: Quality of Education

  • To continue to develop SPPS’s curriculum to reflect the diversity of our pupil population.

Cultural Bias Toolkit

The Cultural Bias Steering Group worked together to create a Cultural Bias Toolkit, which will be used as part of staff induction each year.  The purpose of this tool is:

  • To make all stakeholders  aware of our diverse pupil population  as we believe that the only way to have a truly diverse curriculum offer is to ensure it is reflective of that population. 
  • To give all stakeholders the tools to be able to work towards cultural competence by signposting to texts and website and curriculum planning which supports representation.

Audit of the History and Geography Curriculum

The Cultural Bias Steering Group worked together to audit the curriculum map and ensure that the History and Geography curriculum is representative on the pupil population by making links with the Hackney Diverse Curriculum materials, referencing texts such as Black and British by David Olusaga and ensuring we are respecting the children’s different cultures and personal histories.

Priority 2: Personal Development

  • To ensure all stakeholders have a shared understanding of cultural bias to work towards cultural proficiency.

Teaching about Cultural Diversity and Anti Racism

In the Summer Term we will be teaching the children about cultural diversity and Anti Racism through our ASPIRE curriculum.  The aim of these lessons is to ensure that all children understand the meaning of bias, stereotypes, diversity, race, culture, and racism.  This will equip all the children with a shared vocabulary in order to call out racism and to understand how to be anti-racist.

Anti-Racist Statement

In line with Hackney's response to the deeply shocking treatment of Child Q. Shoreditch Park Primary School has fully adopted the Hackney Headteacher anti-racist statement. To build on this work the Cultural Bias Steering Group has been working together to create an Anti-Racist Statement and this half term we will be consulting with the wider staff body and other stakeholders before publishing this document.  Watch this space for more information in the future.