St Joseph's Catholic Primary School at Otley, held a workshop earlier this month which used football as a focus for starting a conversation with its year 6 pupils about appreciation and respect of the multi-cultural diversity of our nation, and the world that we live in.
The workshops addressed head on the concept of racism in both football and society and a strong emphasis was placed on encouraging pupils towards racial tolerance and developing an
understanding and respect for other cultures.
The historical roots of racism were explored and provided pupils with an understanding of the origins and historical timeline of racism.
It comes as there are renewed calls to step up action to tackle racial abuse, especially on social media platforms, following racial attacks on England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka following penalty misses in Sunday night's Euro 2020 final against Italy.
The players were subjected to racial abuse and a mural of Marcus Rashford in his home town was defaced before being covered with notes, flowers and flags from people supporting the Manchester United player.
Issues of diversity, discrimination, stereotyping, social inclusion, race and racism were looked at using PowerPoint slideshows, classroom discussions, worksheets, group, pair work and videos.
Local MP Alex Sobel who represents Leeds North West also attended the event to lend his support for a clear Anti-Racism message in his constituency.
The session was delivered by local education company, Inspiration Tree, and now pupils at St Joseph’s will complete their focus on Rooting out Racism by designing an anti-racism poster.
Nicky Wilce, founder of Inspiration Tree, said: "The power of football to start conversations about fairness, racism and has never been clearer. England’s team embodies the nation’s multi-culturalism, with many high profile players speaking out about issues in a way they never have before.
“We use universal language of football to educate year 6 pupils in a thought provoking manner. Looking at examples of racism on and off the pitch, and exploring football’s ‘Kick it out’ campaign allows young people to address issues of tolerance, understanding and respect for other cultures."