At the St Thomas’ Federation, we welcome children and their families to our school without discrimination. As part of this, it demands that we do better and do more to break the cycle of racial prejudice and institutional inequality. We know we have an important part to play in striving to build a society in which there is equity and equality for all. We know we must use our voices together to speak out proactively for a more just and inclusive world.
We also recognise that we are a community in transformation and that as an organisation, we still have a lot to learn. We know we need to proactively and continually reeducate ourselves around the issues of racism and that we will at times make mistakes. However, we are committed to learning, listening, reflecting and improving, both as individuals and as a collective.
We live by our Christian values and seek to be inclusive of all – people of all faiths (and none), disabilities, class, economic means, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. This is rooted in a deep understanding of our Christian story, that God is love, does not discriminate, but views all of us as different but equal, with rich diversity, and with equal value.
Our vision and our responsibility is therefore not simply to be non-racist, but to become actively and visibly anti-racist. We aim for our schools to be places which are safe for all - both physically and psychologically. We commit to creating room for open and honest conversation, where we listen to one another and where we hear all voices.
We strive to build a community in which everyone shows respect and understanding towards each other. By doing this, we improve the quality of all our lives. At our schools we support pupils to be proud of their unique identities and to reach for the highest levels of personal achievement and wellbeing. Our schools are spaces where our whole community will be supported to grow, learn and flourish.
Our Diverse Curriculum Offer
We continually review and make changes to our curriculum to ensure that the curriculum is inclusive of the experiences and histories of a diverse range of people. Through this, we aim to provide positive representation of the many communities and individuals who are part of our schools. Through our diverse curriculum, we aim to erase systemic barriers in our society through fairer and more equitable distribution of curriculum content. It serves to allow young people to think more critically about how knowledge is formed and how it comes to be valued.
Our diverse curriculum allows our pupils:
|Updates on Our Work|
|Hair Love- Halo Code|
|Black History Month 2022|
|Newsletter update June 2022|
|Parent Presentation: Becoming Anti-racist Schools - February 2022|
Anti-racism Policy 2022-2023
At St Thomas’ Federation, we are committed to inclusivity which encourages good relationships, mutual understanding and celebrates diversity. However, we also acknowledge that we currently face a growth in intolerance and racism, despite anti-racist legislation and agreements such as the International Declaration of Human Rights, all around the world and within the UK. Therefore, young people’s ideas about race must be explored and discussed within educational contexts so that we can challenge the ‘normalisation’ of many forms of racism, including Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. This is what has led to St Thomas’ Federation creating an Anti-Racism policy. We all have an active role to play in taking an Anti- Racist stand and the responsibility and expectation of challenging racism should not fall to Black, Brown, or any person of colour (staff, parents/carers or pupils). However, we acknowledge that they have a unique perspective and a particular understanding of racism through lived experience.
Anti-racist Schools Action Plan
Our Anti-racist School Action Plan was written as a template to help focus our anti-racist work. We use it to identify short term (within a year), medium term (2-3 years) and long term (3 years+) actions. The plan consists of six sections:
2. Ethos and Values
3. Voice, Identity, Belonging & Wellbeing
4. Continued Professional Development or Learning
6. Early Years Foundation Stage
The plan is a working document which is regularly used and reviewed. Please note the version of the plan on this website is the master version of the action plan and not the Federation’s working document. This is so that other schools may use the action plan as a template for their work and also for reasons of confidentiality.
The Halo Code
We are pleased to announce that both schools have now signed up to The Halo Code. This means our school champions the right of staff and students to embrace all Afro-hairstyles and that we have committed to follow The Halo Code Agreement, which can be found here. For more information on this, please see: The Halo Collective.
As well as lots of work being done to change our everyday curriculum, we are actively seeking local and national projects, which enhance and diversify the offer we provide to our pupils, as well as deepen the understanding and broaden the perspectives of our staff.
The World Reimagined
Recently, we applied for a bursary to take part in ‘The World Reimagined’ which is a ‘national art education project to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact on all of us.’ More information can be found on their website here and their flyer here. This term, Ms Brierley and Mr Finch attended two full-day training sessions on Leadership in Teaching, focussed on anti-racist practice in schools. The children in Year 5 & 6 then used their learning about Mother Africa and our own local history to create this globe which will be displayed in St Paul’s Cathedral from August 13th - late October 2022. It will form part of the larger trail of globes around London. The flyer will explain more about how you can complete the trail.
Ananse The Spider Animation
Ten pupils from St Thomas’ had the wonderful opportunity to work with the lead facilitator from Community Centred Knowledge and an illustrator and animator from the Natural History Museum. The project was specifically for children of West African and Caribbean backgrounds as it is from these areas that Ananse draws his roots and fame. The children attended the Museum for two full days, and work on-site at school for another, to create the visuals for a short animated film that will be used as part of a permanent family activity in the Museworked um.
The film will tell the story of Ananse and the Wisdom of the World based on a script developed with Caribbean elders at the Pepper Pot Centre in North Kensington. The story is part of a rich tradition of Ananse/Anancy stories with Kwaku Ananse or Brer Anancy a character of folklore first born to the Akan traditions of West Africa and now found across West Africa, the Caribbean and the United States.
In these two special days at the Museum the children:
The children who contributed to the film, along with their families were then invited to a private-view event at the Museum in July 2022 to see the finished animation. We will also be sharing the final film with the school and local community soon.
Visit from Laura Henry-Allain MBE
In July, author, producer and speaker, Laura Henry-Allain visited St Thomas’, which also happens to be her former primary school. Laura worked with all the children from Nursery to Year 6. With the younger children, Laura read her famous Jo-Jo and Gran Gran stories which are the first animated stories to centre a Black-British family. With the older children, she talked about her background, heritage and how she became an author, as well as offering advice to the children in achieving their own aspirations.
Visit from Jamila Bolton-Gordon
As part of Year 6’s learning about their local history and its change-makers, they were visited by Mangrove 9 activist, Rhodan Gordon. The children were fascinated to hear her story, and really engaged with her Mangrove workshop. Jamila was also impressed by how much the students knew about the Mangrove 9, Notting Hill Race Riots and Kelso Cochrane. She has even offered to look through our history planning on this for next year to see if it can be improved.