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The elite Roedean boarding school for girls is rewriting the history curriculum


A private boarding school for girls has rewritten its history curriculum to challenge "white western narrative" after the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Roedean School near Brighton in East Sussex was designed to divert history lessons from British "island history" and instead teach students about world events in a broader context.

Students ages 11-14 learn about black Tudors and Queen Victoria's goddaughter Sara Forbes Bonetta, a West African princess who was enslaved before she was rescued and brought to England, the Times reported.

You will examine World War II from a global perspective and consider the impact of the event – which involved the vast majority of countries in the world – elsewhere.

In addition to the Islamic Empire, students in grades 7 to 9 are taught about the Song Dynasty, which ruled China between 960 and 1279.

The Roedean School (pictured) near Brighton in East Sussex was designed to remove history lessons from British "island history" and instead teach students about world events in a broader context

Other subjects in the "decolonized" curriculum include the slave trade in Brighton and the life of the traveler Sake Dean Mahomed, who introduced Indian cuisine to Europe.

Headmaster Oliver Blond said: "We wanted to question the predominantly Western European narrative and look beyond the boundaries of British" island history "to uncover hidden stories both nationally and internationally.

"The question was raised as to whether all members of the Rödish community have seen each other in the history they study in school. To this end, more diverse perspectives have been included in the existing program to challenge prejudice and stimulate debate."

The then Education Secretary Michael Gove said in 2010 that schools should focus their history curriculum on Britain's "island history" adding, "This destruction of our past must stop."

Students laugh as they celebrate their A-Level results from the Roedean School in Brighton in 2019

Students laugh as they celebrate their A-Level results from the Roedean School in Brighton in 2019

The school's students, ages 11-14, meet Queen Victoria's goddaughter Sara Forbes Bonetta (pictured), a West African princess who was enslaved before being rescued and brought to England

The school's students, ages 11-14, meet Queen Victoria's goddaughter Sara Forbes Bonetta (pictured), a West African princess who was enslaved before being rescued and brought to England

More recently, however, there has been an attempt to "decolonize" the UK curriculum following the Black Lives Matter movement sparked in Minneapolis after the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in May.

In Roedean, which was founded in 1885 and costs up to £ 22,000 a year, students taking GCSE and A-Level exams will continue to take more "conventional" history lessons.

Story leader Sarah Black said, “While we were interested in adding new learning units, we were also careful not to take a tokenistic approach, preferring to incorporate new perspectives from a wider range of groups … to prejudice question and stimulate debate. & # 39;

This came after the headmaster of Eton College, following a call from students and parents in June, promised to "decolonize" the curriculum and diversify its staff.

It comes after the headmaster of Eton College (pictured) promised to "decolonize" the curriculum and diversify its staff after students and parents appealed in June

It comes after the headmaster of Eton College (pictured) promised to "decolonize" the curriculum and diversify its staff after students and parents appealed in June

Tony Blair's former school at Fettes College in Edinburgh, pictured above, said she was "using the moment as a catalyst for real change and we're working with staff to create a plan of action".

Tony Blair's former school at Fettes College in Edinburgh, pictured above, said she was "using the moment as a catalyst for real change and we're working with staff to create a plan of action".

Simon Henderson said he would ensure that students at the prestigious school "understand the historical roots of racism and, more importantly, how it continues in today's world".

He made the pledge in response to a letter signed by 635 students and parents addressing the "race and inequality" issues raised after the death of the unarmed black man Floyd.

The letter says it is "imperative" that Eton teach a curriculum that "seeks to address and expose systemic racism in society".

It added that British colonialism and racial relations are "an issue that needs to be given more prominence in the curriculum rather than being ignored or briefly touched upon".

Top independent schools such as Winchester, Fettes, Ampleforth and St Paul & # 39; s Girls are also expected to "formulate new approaches" to teaching about Britain's colonial past.

Gavin Williamson (pictured) previously stated he was "incredibly interested" in making sure that the country's history curriculum "reflects" Britain's diverse population

Gavin Williamson (pictured) previously stated he was "incredibly interested" in making sure that the country's history curriculum "reflects" Britain's diverse population

"We have initiated a review of the school's culture and practices and we plan to complete that review next semester," Winchester College said in June.

"A major focus will be on our curriculum and our desire to teach beyond the traditional curriculum using a global perspective and a wider range of source material," he added.

Tony Blair's former Fettes College Edinburgh school said she was "using the moment as a catalyst for real change and we're working with staff to create a plan of action".

Last month, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he was "incredibly interested" in ensuring that the country's history curriculum "reflects" Britain's diverse population.

He told the Sunday Telegraph, "It is really important that the history taught in schools consider the rich diversity and tapestry that have made our nation so great and the important role that people of all origins have played in our history. "

The Minister of Education said we should “be very proud of our history” adding, “I always want schools to celebrate the history of our great nation and the important role we have played in the world and the world for the better shape."

Mr. Williamson said this meant "making sure we always reflect diversity and all of those people who have played an important role in making our nation's history".

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