Put Colonialism on the King Alfred's Academy Curriculum

Put Colonialism on the King Alfred's Academy Curriculum

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Jai Davda started this petition to King Alfred's Academy

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Dear Mr Holroyd, Mrs Stokell, Mr Spires, Mr Lawrence

We are writing to express concern about the lack of focus on British Colonialism in the King Alfred’s Academy curriculum. It is imperative that all British secondary schools take responsibility for educating their young people on the crimes and exploitation carried out by the British Empire throughout the past five hundred years. Children and young adults must be given the opportunity to understand that Britain’s history and self-image are built on the backs of colonised, enslaved, and brutalised peoples. 

The failure of British schools to encourage honest discussion about Britain’s past perpetuates a delusional perspective on our global status. It encourages complacency and apathy.

It is important to study the evolution and nature of imperialism, and to challenge the attitudes that are rooted in our violent past. 

We feel the study of history plays a crucial role in equipping members of society with the skills and knowledge to recognize harmful nationalist propaganda and to combat its effects. 

By educating its pupils on Britain’s history, King Alfred’s Academy would be challenging the wall of silence. British citizens should be taught to consider all aspects of their national identity, instead of relying on the dangerous assumption that the British empire was just and glorious. Young people must be impartially presented with facts, and subsequently come to their own conclusion as to whether the British Empire was morally defensible. To aid in this, it is crucial that open and honest discussion regarding the British Empire, and its impact on our modern lives, is introduced throughout the Academy.

Here are our suggestions:

  • A thorough implementation of postcolonial study into the King Alfred’s Humanities department.
    • This change cannot just be limited to the History department as the impact of imperialism is not just historical, but economic, sociological and psychological.
    • We expect King Alfred’s Academy to use its semi-autonomy to integrate honest postcolonial study into the wider curriculum. 
  • Modules on the British colonisation of India, Britain's involvement in the scramble for Africa, and Britain’s role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. 
    • This should not just be focussed on British leaders like Churchill, but on the lives of ordinary victims of neglect, oppression and white supremacy. 
  • Theme Days and assemblies dedicated to understanding Imperialism and its impact on our everyday, modern lives including its contribution to institutionalised racism and white privilege. 
  • A student-staff discussion board for Key Stage Four and Sixth Form that allows students and staff to reach an agreement on how imperialism should be taught.

Signed, King Alfred’s Academy Sixthform Alumni.

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