My name is Glory, and I have created and led the Uncovering Histories: Black British History programme. This was the accumulation of my three years at Kent, combining my Liberal Arts degree and my jobs as a student ambassador for Outreach and Widening Participation and research assistant for Student Success. The project was a collaborative 5-week project with academics from universities, teaching year 10 students at Chatham Grammar School about different points of Black British history.
While I have been a student ambassador since my first year, I started to get the idea for this project in my second year while working on the Mentoring and University Insights project for Black students. This project was specifically designed for Black sixth form students to give them support and an insight into univerity life. This was a great project, and I really loved being a part of it. It got me thinking about what else could be done. As a student, I had never been taught about Black British history, this is a structural issue within the education system, and I felt that was the missing link that all students could benefit from. So I got to brainstorming, I had meetings with Shauna-Aine O’Brien (Student Support and Development Officer) and Alex Martin-Carey (Curriculum Development Manager), and we started planning. I had big ideas, and Alex and Shauna taught me the logistics and everything I would have to do; they really let me lead this and supported me, making sure I never took too much on. This role required me to become a development ambassador and an outreach tutor to lead the sessions.
I wrote a proposal in June 2021 to Chatham Grammar School (where I went to sixth form). The school accepted the proposal, with one main change being where it would be timetabled. This meant a few logistical revisions, but I was happy to make the changes. Now that the project was accepted, it was time to get the academics. I emailed all the academics I had researched, and they either showed interest or recommended someone else. This was a really big milestone. Around November, we started to have meetings with the academics giving them the brief and what it would include, and they accepted. During the time the academics were planning their session, I had to create the lesson plans for the session, and Shauna helped to secure ambassadors to support. The project started on January 11th with two 30-minute sessions a week and ended on February 9th. Below you will find the structure for the project.
|Tuesday 11 January||Ancient Africa||Karl Goodwin|
|Wednesday 12 January||Asking Questions||Ambassador Led|
|Tuesday 18 January||Diversifying your Learning||Dr Barbara Adewumi|
|Wednesday 19 January||Colonialism||Dr Aparajita Mukhopadhyay|
|Tuesday 25 January||Visibility of Black figures in Kent||Dr Ben Marsh|
|Wednesday 26 January||Archival Research Skills||Ambassador Led|
|Tuesday 01 February||Redefining African Identity||Dr Mark Ledwidge|
|Wednesday 02 February||Black Lives Matter||Dr Alex Hensby|
|Tuesday 08 February||Identity and Research||Rachel Gefferie|
|Wednesday 09 February||Creating curriculum proposals||Ambassador Led|
The project ended with students creating their own curriculum proposals and taking ownership of their learning. Many students participated in the proposals, working in groups and individuals to create the project. Shauna and I had a meeting to go through all the entries and picked 3 winners, giving them prizes; below are their entries.
First Place: Naomi
Second Place: Ayomide, Imisi and Cristabel
Third Place: Comfort, Naomi, Pelumi, Sophia, Jazzlyne, Maddie, and Ollie
This project is everything to me and was my most outstanding achievement during my time at Kent. However, I could not have achieved it by myself. I want to thank Shauna and Alex, they supported me from the seed of the idea to the execution. They gave me the opportunity to really shine, and I am genuinely grateful for that. I also want to thank all the academics that were a part of the project. Thank you for planning and delivering your sessions and being ready and able to share your knowledge. Thank you to all the ambassadors who supported and led with me, especially Emma. Last but not least, thank you to the students for being ready to learn and participate. Thank you for sharing your ideas. It truly was inspiring.
This was a pilot program, and my hope is that it will not be the end. Our evaluation team has gone into the school, and by going through the responses, I know that we will have the resources necessary to expand and sustain the project. This is just the beginning.