‘Thought-provoking’ slave trade workshop part of latest Specialist Day

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Woodham Academy students recreated the cramped conditions on board an 18th century slave ship to gain an insight into the horrors of the Middle Passage.

Staff from Durham University brought a full-size print of the notorious slave ship Brookes to the school as part of a workshop on the slave trade.

Students lay down on the print-out of the ship’s hold to gain an insight into the conditions experienced by the 248 slaves who would have been packed into this part of the ship for the transatlantic crossing known as the Middle Passage.

Students also handled artefacts including iron shackles, learnt about the abolitionist movement, and about the realities of modern-day slavery.

Assistant Headteacher Sarah Dickinson said: “This was a thought-provoking workshop that provided students with the opportunity to reflect on and increase their understanding of a very sensitive and challenging subject.”

The activities formed part of the latest ‘Specialist Day’ at Woodham Academy, when external partners visit the school to deliver workshops with each year group. Hosted three times a year, Specialist Days form part of Woodham Academy’s extensive personal, citizenship and careers education programme.

The day also featured a visit from prisoners and prison officers organised by the charity ‘Prison Me No-Way’, established to raise awareness among young people about the causes, consequences and penalties of crime. Other activities included a workshop on online safety, mock job interviews and a visit from the Durham Education Business Partnership.

Andrew Dowson‘Thought-provoking’ slave trade workshop part of latest Specialist Day