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Samuel Whitbread Academy

Year 9 High Attainers Black History Higher Project Qualification- A Qualified Success!


The exam board, Pearson, asked SWA to be a pilot school to show how the HPQ qualification (worth half a GCSE), to promote equality and diversity, particularly through the study of Black British History.


Equality is an important value to this school, and this challenge was successfully taken up by 26 Year 9 students this academic year. They were required to independently create an investigation question, research their topic, evaluate and reach a judgment in answer to their question, all while writing up and reflecting on their project progress. A real challenge for any year group. Students participated in visits to the Bedfordshire Archive and the Southill Estate, the house of Samuel Whitbread, an abolitionist who fought to end slavery, to help inspire them.


The work the students have produced is part of the way we, as a school, and as a country, are addressing the paucity of black British history. Their completed projects will be used to educate others, including their peers. Their work has all been submitted for the HPQ qualification and we look forward to receiving their results in August.


Due to the success of the pilot project at Samuel Whitbread, the exam board, Pearson, sent in representatives to find out how we had used the HPQ to diversify our KS3 curriculum. The representatives from Pearson wanted to hear and record the students’ and staff experiences of the projects so it could be used as a model for other schools. Our students were praised for their ability to clearly articulate their learning on Black British History, and the development of independent study skills from this project.