1. I began by asking members of staff for their own school photographs, and displayed these on the screen for students to chew over as they entered the hall, before asking if they recognised any of their teachers. I asked students to recall their feelings on their own first day at Hounsdown School.
2. I displayed the famous photograph of Elizabeth Eckford, aged 15, being followed on her way to Little Rock High School by an angry mob of segregationists (Eckford was one of nine students chosen to attend the integrated school in 1957 following the decision by the Supreme Court to outlaw segregation). I linked this to Martin Luther King by suggesting that the actions of the Little Rock Nine would have greatly inspired him.
3. Although students in Year 8 and above would have studied some aspects of Civil Rights movement as part of their History curriculum I showed some images of segregation, and a map showing the location of Little Rock.
4. I then gave students more detail about Elizabeth Eckford’s harrowing journey to school, and more information about the gruelling year faced by the brave students. Their ordeal included an acid attack in a science laboratory, physical and verbal abuse, and being ordered never to retaliate when faced with cruelty from white students.
5. I finished with a short clip which neatly summarises the significance of the Little Rock Nine and asked students to consider why their story is so important, and what they would take away from the assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oodolEmUg2g