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News from the History Dept

Steve Stacey’s visit

During October we have been very privileged to welcome ex student Steve Stacey back to Fairfield. Steve was the first African American professional footballer in the UK. His father was a black American GI based in Bristol during World War II. When Steve was on the way the US army would not allow him to marry Steve’s mother because she was white. He spoke to all of year ten about the many journeys of his life including life at Fairfield, growing up playing football in the streets of Horfield, finding his father and life as a professional footballer in the days when he had to earn money as a van driver in the summer to make ends meet!

Four of our students were also invited to interview Steve at MShed as part of their Black History Month evening events. This was a public talk, with about 50 people there. Our young journalists were simply amazing. They had prepared well on their training day, and spoke eloquently and engagingly, never being phased by the inevitable unpredictable moments in a public interview. Watching them was a really proud moment for our school – so a huge well done to Bushra Mohamed; Krish Bhakera; Miri Belfield and Emma Elliot. Here they are getting ready:


On the subject of Black History Month, this seems a good opportunity to talk about the work we are doing to ensure our curriculum reflects and resonates with the Fairfield Community. One of our main aims has been to ensure that black history is part of all our history all the time, and to create a history curriculum that students feel reflects them and their community. Examples of work we are doing as part of this are:

  • Starting year 7 with a unit called “Who are the British – a study of multiculturalism over 1000 years”
  • Writing a unit about the history of Somalia and the Bristol Somali community – any help with this would be very gratefully received.
  • Ensuring that our units on World Wars 1 and 2 include recognition of the contribution of soldiers from all over the empire (and thank you so much to Ranja Singh in year 9 who brought in his Grandfather’s book on the Sikh contribution for me to see last year)
  • Changing our medieval unit so it is a comparison of medieval Europe and the Islamic world
  • Adding a unit about black civil rights campaigns in Bristol and the US
  • Changing our unit on Nazi Germany so we also study the impact of Nazi rule on occupied Europe

And more! We would be delighted to talk to anyone who would like to talk to us or contribute to this work

Kate Smee, History Teacher and Director of Humanities


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