The 3 Cs of Classrooms, Community and Careers are fundamental to how the SLDF promotes a programme of cohesion.
We have put together some fantastic ideas that provide a great way for schools to get involved in Stephen Lawrence Day on April 22nd, learning and connecting with the community at the same time. Get hands on to produce some works of art, or put your creative caps on with some rhyme and rhythm, writing your own poetry. Maybe you can be the next sporting hero and get fit to take on a physical challenge?!
Rise to the challenge and have fun at the same time. Looking beyond the school gate, working with members of the wider community means that children can benefit from the life skills and qualifications of others.
At the close of 2020 we wish you all a very happy holiday from all at the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. We warmly invite schools to light a candle to Stephen Lawrence.
‘Windows of Light’ shining into the community, welcoming a new year of peace, joy, hope and love. Please share pictures with us at SLDF.
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Stephen and his best friend Elvin were great entrepreneurs from a young age. One of Stephen’s real strengths was still life drawing and Elvin was an excellent painter. Together, both of them worked creatively and very soon they both became popular, painting portraits of their school mates wearing their favourite trainers or track suits, posing in their favourite gear. The pair worked enthusiastically and even earned a little money drawing and painting people from school.
Soon the best friends made a plan to buy low priced t-shirts that they painted with the faces of bands and famous people. This became really popular and their business idea was a real hit! Requests came flooding in with Stephen and Elvin’s friends requesting jazzy t-shirts with the faces of Malcolm X and many cool and famous rappers at the time. They inspired each other with their skills and talents and soon their mini-enterprise grew to Stephen and Elvin painting designs on exercise books, caps and jackets. Can you believe they even managed to present Flavor Flav, their favourite rapper, with a jump suit that they had painted his face on the front and back. The rapper was over the moon with this gift!
Challenge: You too can be an entrepreneur like Stephen and Elvin. In groups form a small business and look at the talents that the whole group have individually. What a force you could all be when you come together! Decide what your product is going to be and exactly what you will need to produce it. Assign roles and jobs to each member of the group. Advertise your business and the product in school and the local community. Who is your market and how will it help people in the community? Will you aim to produce something for young, old or both?! Now invite some people in from the community to act as judges to decide who has made the best product. You can invite local business people, vicars or even the local doctor! A range of people to see the good work that young people working together can produce. Try and encourage someone to invest in your business idea! You never know, you could be a real success and become the next Alan Sugar or Karen Brady.
Stephen was sure to be someone who was going to help and inspire others with his skills and talents. He was a kind and good friend to others.
One race that Stephen was particularly good at was the ‘Late for school’ race. He brought a lot of laughter to his friends and teachers with this race. The race was unusual as piles of clothes were placed along the school field track. The children had to run as fast as they could to the finishing line, stopping five times along the race to pile on sets of clothes. Classmates shouted and screamed at the tops of their voices, with some children stopping half way tangled up in a pile, unable to finish the race! Not Stephen, he always finished in first place, hot, tired and enormous with layers and layers of clothes on! Stephen won the ‘Late for school’ race every time and then he gathered up his energy for the next race to win the 100 metres sprint! The 100-metre race was Stephen’s special race. This was a race he won every time. Stephen was a great runner and never gave up. He showed determination and perseverance, inspiring Elvin and others to try and beat him. It was impossible!
Challenge: Can your school set up a ‘Late for School’ race of your own and see who will be the Champion in each class/year group? Why not try making up a special race that pupils in your school decide upon and make it an annual sports day fixture. Try timing the race and improving on the time so that everyone aims for a personal best?! Include everyone and someone may surprise you with their skill and ability!
Stephen was a great walker and runner. In 1988 he ran the Greenwich Mini Marathon. This was on the same day as the London Marathon, hence the ‘Mini Marathon.’ Stephen raised money for children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He liked to help other people. He was just 14 years old at the time. Once Stephen set out to do something, he achieved it!
His best friend Elvin remembers that he and Stephen once walked all the way from a place called New Cross to Grove Park. Elvin wanted to get a bus or a train but Stephen just wanted to keep on going. He was determined to get to the end. This shows his strength of character and perseverance. Have you ever taken on something that you or others did not feel you could complete? How did you feel and what kept you going? Tell us what your next goal is and how you intend to achieve it.
Challenge: Inspire others around you and make a presentation to younger children about ‘Strength and determination’ to inspire them to always try their best.
The walk that Stephen and Elvin completed was around 4.5 miles. Plan a walk of this distance (or whatever you can manage) and get people to sponsor you for a charity of your choice or The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. Film part of your journey and remember to stay safe, socially distancing!
Friendship matters when supporting people to be the best that they can be.
Elvin and Stephen were best friends from a very young age. Elvin and Stephen met aged nine at Sunday School, Burnage Road Methodist Church. Elvin was Stephen’s lifelong and closest friend. They enjoyed trips and picnics together that the Church arranged for the children. At one Christmas party Stephen noticed that Father Christmas was ‘wearing trainers’ so he could not be Father Christmas as ‘Father Christmas wears boots!’
Write a poem about Elvin Oduro and why he was a good friend. Include why friendship matters to you and who makes you happy and positive. Who encourages you to keep smiling? Include special moments that you have enjoyed with friends who support you.
If you are studying for a Citizenship GCSE, BBC Teach has a series of three 10-minute video clips from its award-winning documentary Stephen Lawrence: The murder that changed a nation. With an introduction by Stephen’s brother, Stuart Lawrence, each clip has teaching notes with questions and activities to support your understanding around GCSE Citizenship.
Challenge: Present an assembly for the rest of your class or school. Organise a school election on why people should vote for you as the next Prime Minister. Your aim is to convince your fellow students that you will put an end to racism and stop what happened to Stephen ever happening again.
This 13minute video was created by young people at JUST Lincolnshire’s Stephen Lawrence Day event last year. In the video they act out scenes from Stephen’s story, from hobbies he enjoyed, to changes in the law following his death, and the creation of Stephen Lawrence Day. You can watch the video here.
Challenge: Make a presentation for people within the community, including local business leaders and teach them everything you have learnt about Stephen. Design some leaflets and posters that will capture the attention of people in the community, spreading the story of a life cut short and what lessons we can all learn.
Look at what has happened in the summer of 2020 and the many images of racism and injustice that black people have faced over the years. Discuss BLM and express views and opinions. Open discussions and questions.
Read the poem by Benjamin Zephaniah and the metaphors used by the poet to describe the killers. Why does he use questions in the way he does? How does he carefully use repetition to make his point? What is Benjamin Zephaniah’s point in the poem, from your point of view? What images and have been used? What impact do they have and what images do they conjure up in your mind? Why do you think he has written the poem and what do you think his own experiences have been?
Challenge: Write a performance poem in response to Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem. What point is the poem making and from you have learnt about Stephen’s story, can you address your poem to Cressida Dick. What has changed, if anything, since the murder of Stephen Lawrence? Video your poem and share it on social media.
There are many ways your school can participate, and here are just a few:
- Read our Information for Schools Booklet, jam-packed with information and suggestions that schools can tailor to suit them.
- Run our Stephen Lawrence Day assemblies in your school
- Read a book from our Annotated Reading lists here, available for both EYFS and Primary titles and Secondary and Post 16 titles
- Download one of our Live Our Best Life posters and display proudly in your school
- Use our Stephen Lawrence Day logo and other social media assets to promote your own events
- Find out more about our careers programme
We’d love to inspire others with what you’re doing. Let us know what you’re up to by tagging us into your social media posts and updating our activities map!
We have put together some fantastic ideas that provide a great way for schools to get involved...
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Fundraise for us
Have fun raising funds for us, whilst knowing you're making a difference.
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Become a partner
There are lots of ways you can partner with us to help create a fairer society for all.
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Timeline 1974 -present
A timeline of key events and changes that have been brought about in Stephen Lawrence’s name.
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