The Lord Mayor of Leeds enjoyed a visit to Bracken Edge Primary School on Friday June 23 to unveil the school's new curriculum and history timeline.
The Lord Mayor Coun Al Garthwaite was joined by pupils, staff, governors and parents as well as Heather Paul, the daughter of Gertrude Paul, for this auspicious event.
"The school is very proud of the fact that Gertrude Paul became the first black headteacher in Leeds on its site when it was known as Elmhurst Middle School and there is a commemorative blue plaque outside the school to celebrate this," said a school spokesperson.
"Ms Paul and the Windrush Generation are also a major part of the new curriculum at Bracken Edge and it was with great pride that Heather Paul helped the Lord Mayor in unveiling the new timeline and curriculum, which was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain."
The Lord Mayor went on a tour of the school to meet staff and pupils who explained how the new curriculum enhanced their learning and enjoyment of school.
"The bespoke curriculum at Bracken Edge has been carefully crafted with help from Emily Nelson at Leeds Museums and Galleries and is designed to enable and support every child to become life-long, independent learners as well as fostering in them a love of learning and pride in their community," added the spokesperson.
Emily said it had been fantastic to work with the Newton Road-based Leeds school on tailoring their curriculum.
"It's great to see the power of history in action," she said.
"The curriculum is tailored towards making connections in children's learning across all subjects with a focus on local links alongside celebrating the diverse, multi-cultural make-up of the school.
"All of this is captured in the new history timeline that the school has had installed at its entrance."
Heather Paul added: "This is a special school in my personal history and that of the community.
"It has been great to see the progression of the curriculum and how it incorporates all the local links, such as my mum, and reflects the multi-cultural cohort of the school.
"I am inspired by the children learning about Gertrude Paul as part of their history curriculum and it was such a pleasure to meet them and see how engaged they were in their learning and how open and confident they are."
The ground-breaking collaboration with Leeds Museums and Galleries has resulted in Bracken Edge being at the forefront of curriculum design and has created an innovative wider curriculum that is based upon the school's values of belong, enjoy, persevere and succeed.
Curriculum Lead, Mark Crossland, said: "It is important to us that the curriculum mirrors the values of the school and that all children feel that they belong to the school community, enjoy their time in school, receive an ambitious curriculum in which they persevere and that everyone has a chance to succeed through working hard."
The Lord Mayor was impressed with her visit to the school and commented: "It has been an honour to be a part of this ceremony and it is great to see the school honouring the 75th anniversary of the Windrush through their curriculum.
"It is wonderful to see what this school has achieved and that the legacy of Gertrude Paul is being continued through their work with the children.
"I have had wonderful conversations with children from all year groups and have learnt so much from them."
The children have been learning all about Gertrude Paul and how she was also one of the founders of the Chapeltown Carnival, which is an important part of the community in that area.
To celebrate this, all the pupils are now working on their end of year carnival, which they will perform in Potternewton Park on Wednesday July 19. Headteacher, Caroline Carr, is inviting everyone in the community to go along and celebrate.
She said: "It would be lovely to see all members of the community come along to watch our carnival and celebrate our wonderful local area and all the fantastic work that the children have been doing this year as part of our excellent curriculum."