I grew up in Harlesden (London), born in the UK to Jamaican parents. I have designed and will be teaching the live and interactive Young Black Leaders Course.
Since graduating in BSc Psychology from University College London (UCL), I attended the IoE (Institute of Education) to complete a PGCE in Secondary Science Education and A Level Biology. I have been teaching in secondary schools for 15 years. During that time, I have acted as a Teacher Governor, Head of A Level Biology, Deputy Head of Year and Co-Head of Year. I followed my interest in Special Education by studying for a Post Graduate Certificate at Nottingham University, and I later designed and implemented interventions for underachieving and SEN students in a mainstream school. Teaching at an SEN school for three years, I wrote, implemented and evaluated EHC plans, and participated in multidisciplinary collaboration to meet the additional needs of my students. It has been a long standing passion of mine to develop and deliver a curriculum that reflects and speaks to the lived experiences of the young people I teach.
Black Studies Interest
At the age of 19, I stumbled upon a pre-slavery Black History presentation. I was blown away by the achievements of Black people before African enslavement, and this created an uplifting and fundamental shift in my world view. I later attended Dr Robin Walker's one year evening course in Black Studies, which included many history topics, politics, psychology and the arts. Black Studies opened my eyes to the idea that everything is taught through a lens, and follows a particular set of core values.
The problem with PSHCE in schools
PSHCE lessons in high school teaches some great topics, but only scratches the surface or does not address these issues from a culturally relevant perspective for Black students. Notably, in the media it seems that young Black people have been negatively portrayed, particularly through documentaries aired in recent years. Young Black people are also disproportionately impacted by violent crime, criminal exploitation, stop and search and school exclusions to name a few. Any PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) course should address these issues and empower young people with the knowledge and skills to reduce the probability of negative outcomes, and improve their motivation and sense of self worth.
Furthermore, there are some pressing economic, cultural and legal aspects of society which have grave impact on young people's lives, that are simply not included. Couple this with the lack of content necessary to fulfil the 'personal' aspect of the curriculum for Black students (such as Black history), and you have a curriculum that cannot meet the specific needs of young Black students.
Often we are trying to pursue a coverage of African history in the national curriculum to satisfy the unique importance for young Black people to learn their history, (amongst other reasons) as we know this is curcial to their personal identity, racial esteem and development.
In this unique PSHCE course, particular aspects of Black history are approached specifically and appropriately to fulfil this need and further inspire, engage, equip and direct young people towards success in all their endeavours.
Our young people already have the energy, vision and ambition to achieve. Young Black Leaders aims to be an added positive driving force, for all the young people who come on to our programme.
The inspiration for Young Black Leaders
I have brought together my array of interests and experiences to develop a carefully tailored pastoral curriculum to equip young people with more of the tools they need to thrive and succeed in school, their local communities and beyond compulsory education. I have always viewed education as a means to empowerment, and I want to use education to help develop the Young Black Leaders of tomorrow. YBL aims to bridge the gap between the unique issues faced by the Black community in the UK and the school -based PSHCE curriculum, from a culturally competent perspective. So if you want your child to be better prepared, encouraged and inspired to succeed, consider signing them up for the brand new Young Black Leaders Course.