HIGH school students have created an empowering film to mark Black History Month.

The idea came from East Bergholt High School’s Year 10 pupil Mary Ayeni who wanted the school to do more to explore Black History Month and celebrate black culture.

Mary suggested creating a film where BAME students could present their heritage, feelings and heroes to the rest of the school.

Students of all year groups were invited to contribute and the 15 minute film was produced by leader of belief and ethics Amy Austen.

Mrs Austen said: “Promoting understanding and tolerance and fighting prejudice is at the heart of our work in the belief and ethics department.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

History: Mary Ayeni helped make the video 

“So when Mary suggested a whole school project for Black History Month I jumped at the chance to help her. The interviews and contributions were more emotional than I expected them to be. To hear our young students of colour talk about the racism they have experienced is moving and demonstrates how important projects like this are. I am so proud to be able to work with young people and learn from their experiences to help make the school a fairer and more compassionate place.”

Just over 7 per cent of the student body at East Bergholt High School are from a non-white British background.

The school explores BAME culture and issues such as racism and equality through assemblies and through its curriculums.

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Film: Shad Mohammad in a still from the film

Headteacher Dan Woodcock said: “In parts the film is raw in its exploration of what it means to be a young, BAME person today.

“It is never easy to hear that young people have experienced racism, particularly those within your school community but these are important conversations that must be had in any school and we are proud of what Mary and the other students have produced. We do not tolerate racism at East Bergholt High School.

“The film has got us, as a school community, thinking and talking about these issues and how we tackle them; these are vitally important conversations that must be had.”

The film can be seen on the school’s YouTube channel.