On a bright day at an inner London primary school, the pupils are enjoying a lesson with a difference. A stall has been set up, draped in vibrant patterned fabrics and bright flags. On it are stacks of books for young readers: some tell the stories of renowned people such as Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Malala and the Williams sisters; others contain stories in two languages: English alongside Urdu or Yoruba or Swahili.
Self-portraits by the pupils hang around the stall. The children dance and sing, waving flags of the countries in which their parents or their grandparents were born.
“It’s a big word to use about primary-aged children, but they seemed to find the event empowering,” says Hannah Rigg, a teacher at the school. “[Children were] talking about their backgrounds with pride. We had parents sitting with their kids, looking through books written in their first language, about characters who looked like them.”