PUPILS at Christie Park Primary School have been swapping the usual timetable for some special history lessons in honour of Black History Month (BHM) 2017.

BHM is celebrated across the UK every October and invites people throughout the country to learn more about important influential figures of history who have contributed to the world and society but who, for some, have not been recognised or rewarded for their achievements.

The primary pupils have been learning about the brave actions of people from Harriet Powers to Steve Biko and have created stories, artwork and posters inspired by the lives of the people they study.

Christie Park are the only school in West Dunbartonshire to celebrate the month and it has gone down a treat with pupils who have been creating artistic wall displays of everything they have learned.

Teacher Angela McDonald said: "We have studied figures who have made a stand for civil rights, men and women who have struggled to emancipate others fighting for equal rights and some classes have used well-known stories to teach and discuss racial discrimination."

The school have been commemorating BHM for a number of years and, when the school were inspected by HMI in 2013, the work was recognised as "innovative".

Ms McDonald said: "Inspectors remarked that we were one of the few – possibly the only – school in Scotland learning through and celebrating Black History Month.

"We recognise learning about racial discrimination as an essential part of our Health and Wellbeing – encouraging future generations to celebrate diversity and cultures.

"While other schools perhaps focus on other aspects of health and wellbeing, this is something we began and it has sort of just grown and grown."

"It also relates well to Rights Respecting Schools," added head teacher Laura Penny. "The children are learning about people who even some adults haven't heard of before."

The topic is incorporated into the curriculum for every year group, helping primary one through to primary seven to think about diversity and racial discrimination

Primary one have been reading Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by David McKee – a story about a multi-coloured elephant who tries to cover his colours to fit in with the other elephants but discovers his differences make him unique.

Meanwhile in primary seven, the pupils have been learning about Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan – African American women who played a key role in calculating flight trajectories for NASA during the 20th Century space-race.

Their story was turned into an Oscar-nominated film in 2016.

P1/2 read the colourful picture book Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne to learn about the Luo tribe in south-west Kenya.

Other classes studied characters such as Jamaican business woman Mary Seacole, Arthur Wharton the world's first black professional footballer and African American painter Alma Woodsey Thomas as well as the iconic figures of Mohammad Ali and Barack Obama.

BMH was founded in the UK 30 years ago, in 1987, by former Labour councillor Linda Bellos the month is also celebrated in the US and Canada in February.