Posts Tagged ‘Westminster Academy’

Knighthood bestowed on Naim Dangoor

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Westminster Academy is thrilled to announce that Naim Dangoor has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘his extraordinarily generous philanthropy to a range of health, educational and religious charities.’

Whilst you see Sir Naim Dangoor’s name on the building every day, you may not be aware of just quite how exceptional his life journey and contributions to society have been.

After building a successful business empire in his homeland of Iraq, Sir Naim Dangoor and his wife were forced to leave the country in the 1960s as a result of political upheaval and arrived in the UK having seen all his businesses taken by the Iraqi government. Having studied engineering at London University many years earlier, Sir Naim restarted his business life again, and gradually with the help of his four sons he created a highly successful property business in the UK. Since then, Sir Naim Dangoor has set up the Exilarch’s Foundation and distributed large amounts to good causes. This includes substantial donations to Cancer Research UK and Age UK, both of which have touched his life personally.

Sir Naim Dangoor said,

“Like many families before us, my family had to flee its country of origin. We left Iraq and found refuge here in the UK. In this wonderful country, immigrants have the opportunity to restart their lives and contribute to the welfare of their new home, as many have done before us. My hope for Iraq, and the whole Middle East, is that, there too, harmony and co-operation will one day become the norm once more, to allow that region again to contribute to the welfare of humanity.”

We could not be prouder, nor more fortunate, to have the Dangoor family as the sponsor of Westminster Academy. Long may we be inspired by Sir Naim Dangoor’s story, which so profoundly resonates with the Academy’s ethos and the values and character traits we strive towards.

On behalf of the students and staff of Westminster Academy, our Chair of Governors, Mr Randeree CBE wrote to congratulate David Dangoor (son of Sir Naim Dangoor); we would like to share this with the WA community.

Dear David,

May I Congratulate your father on the wonderful Honour that was bestowed upon him by Her Majesty The Queen, in her Birthday Honours List.

Apart from this honour being a well deserved and fitting tribute to your father’s lifelong philanthropic work, it also acknowledges the on-going incredible contribution being made on a daily basis by your family, benefiting so many deserving communities and causes in the UK and Internationally.

On a personal note, I know I speak for every stakeholder at The Westminster Academy, the contribution and vision of the Dangoor Family in this community is immeasurable. It is a privilege being associated with the Dangoor Family via The Westminster Academy and I wish to extend my utmost Congratulations and that of everyone at The Westminster Academy.

Yours sincerely,

Shabir Randeree CBE

Chair of Governors, Westminster Academy

Westbourne Festival 2015

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Mark Sunday 7th June in your diaries for an afternoon of fun and sun at the canalside by the Warwick Estate. As always it will be a day of entertainment run for the community by the community!

There will be something for everyone with food, live music, drumming, yoga, exotic petting zoo, family activities, raffles, face painting, bouncy castle, stalls and much more!

We look forward to seeing you there.

Westbourne Festival 2015

By royal appointment: Year 7 students give presentation at Buckingham Palace

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Westminster Academy goes to Buckingham Palace

Two Westminster Academy students were selected to go to Buckingham Palace to promote the benefits of Outward Bound residentials to a group of funders.

Principal, Ms Smita Bora, explained the level of deprivation within Westbourne to the funders. Many of the funders were unaware that Westbourne is the seventh most deprived constituency in the country and that the difference in life expectancy between a Westbourne resident and an average Westminster resident is 20 years.

Outdoor Education Co-ordinator, Matthew Puffett, explained how the generous sponsorship of 30 places at an Outward Bound residential, by Westminster Academy’s sponsors David and Judy Dangoor, had helped Year 7 students develop an awareness of how to transfer character traits experienced on the residential such a “grit” into challenges faced at schools such as examinations.

When I went to Buckingham Palace, I was outside and saw all those tourists; I thought about whose house I was going into and thought, ‘I am the best of the best!’ When I took my first step inside I was instantly amazed. I saw real gold everywhere, red silk and the stairs were made of white crystal. Just one word could define everything: ‘amazing’.

When I got to the balcony room, I saw Chinese art everywhere. I was amazed. I did a practice speech at first and they all said it was great! When everyone else came I started to feel nervous. When I made my real speech I made one mistake but carried on. It was an amazing experience!

By Lanre Dada, Year 7

The journey was nerve-racking and was shorter than I expected. When we arrived, there were lots of people staring and wondering, “How come they get to go in?” We went inside to a very extravagant room where men took our coats and told us when to go upstairs.

We went up to a room with oriental decor. We waited until the guests came and then we gave our speeches. I was so nervous! I was very proud of myself afterwards. We then received a visit from HRH the Duke of York! He asked us about our experiences with Outward Bound. Then we had our lunch at a hotel called Ruben. It was divine.

By Abado Jama, Year 7

Westminster Academy news goes global: BBC School Report 2015

Friday, May 29th, 2015

westminster academy at the bbc -pic 1On Thursday 19th March students participated in the BBC School report, a nationwide event where schools are encouraged to create a news broadcast. Students from Westminster Academy were fortunate to have had training from the BBC due to links the Media department has been able to create over the last year and this put them in a really strong position.

westminster academy at the bbc - pic 2On the day Team WA rose to the challenge of working to a tight dead-line through excellent teamwork, thorough planning and technical expertise. The students were really happy with the end product which can now be seen on the News pages of the Westminster Academy website; bring on next year!

By Mr Rahman, Head of Media

Westminster Academy tops Sixth Form performance tables!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Picture of Westminster Academy studentsWestminster Academy is delighted to report that the Sixth Form is now top of the tables in Westminster. The average point score per academic student at Westminster Academy was 874.7 points (equivalent to 2 A* and 1 A), more than 25 points ahead of the next state school in the borough.

In 2014 88% of Sixth Form students gained A*-C grades, including 46% of students achieving the equivalent of A* and A grades. The high grades reflect the breadth of the IB, with students’ results being divided across six disciplines as opposed to the usual three subjects at A Level: English, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Science, Maths and the Arts or an elective.

WA young volunteers awarded Highly Commended in Westminster Community awards

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Congratulations to Matinur Rahman and Andrea Santi who have had their volunteering achievements recognised by Westminster County Council at the Community Awards 2014.

At the awards ceremony in Paddington, Andrea, Year 12, was awarded Highly Commended in the Young Volunteer Award for her volunteering including on the Westbourne Forum, where her work helps to improve community cohesion and communication between young people and adults.

Matinur, Year 12, was in the top two in Westminster for the Sir Simon Milton Award for young people who have made ‘an outstanding contribution to the community by working with older people or disadvantaged young people’. He achieved Highly Commended for his role leading on the partnership between Open Age and Westminster Academy. Matinur was heaped with praise by Open Age and Lisa Milton from the Sir Simon Milton Foundation. The Foundation was so impressed, that even though he didn’t win, they have offered to make a donation to Open Age as a result of being inspired by Matinur. Matinur was also offered congratulations by Westminster’s new Lord Mayor, Cllr Audrey Lewis, and Cllr Steve Summers, who also gave him some tips on entering a career in politics.

Westminster Academy was delighted to see our friends and partner organisations also earning Highly Commended in the following categories for their hard work with WA and the community:

  • Bringing People Together Award – Michael Dibble, The Stowe Centre
  • Outstanding Organisation – Mosaic
  • Partnership Award – M&S and WA
  • Better City, Better Lives – Time for Paddington

Matinur said “It was a spectacular event and I was so proud to be there. I love volunteering with Open Age and am very thankful to them for supporting me.”

Student Review of the 2014 Westbourne Festival

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Co-ordinated by Westbourne Forum the annual Westbourne Festival took place on Sunday 22nd July, and Westminster Academy was very proud to support the event. We were lucky enough to enjoy glorious sunshine for the whole day, and it was a wonderful event for the local community.

There was live music (including Ionie Johnson, Zakri Zulkurnain and Joanna Charafeddine-Akar; all Year 12 students), several food stalls, lots of information stands and community groups, and even a zoo and a bouncy castle!

All the stall holders were extremely friendly, and the canal side venue created a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere. There were lots of families attending, and it was lovely to see people from such an incredibly diverse range of families mixing and sitting together on the grass.

I spent the day interviewing guests and stall holders with the WA Camera Crew, and every single person commented on what a great day it was, and how many friendly faces there were (even the ones painted to look like tigers!).

A big thank you has to go to the absolutely wonderful stewards (ten of which were WA students) for running the event so smoothly and ensuring that everyone was having a good time. And especially to those involved in the planning and organisation, particularly Sara and Geoff. Overall, it was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed being involved in it. Bring on 2015!

Noumeira Bettache

Year 12 student, Westminster Academy

Students prove IB values and international excellence on results day at Westminster Academy

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Westminster Academy student, Kevin De Wit, this week flew the flag for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) as he scored one of the best results in the world and Westminster Academy’s best ever IB score. Kevin’s total of 39 points smashed the world-average by ten points and is equivalent to more than 4 A*s. The score puts Kevin among the top 7% of IBDP graduates globally.

18 year old Kevin is currently back in his home country of Brazil, epitomizing the appeal of the IB: he was able to access his results instantly online and has now gained a qualification which is globally renowned, opening doors to any university in the world. Besides the international desirability of the IB, the IB Diploma Programme has long had a reputation for its academically challenging programme of study. This, the breadth of the curriculum, as well as the IB’s unique mission to develop young people as inquiring, active and compassionate lifelong learners, is what UK universities are now recognising as being more valuable than any other qualification in terms of preparing students both for university and for life. The increasing popularity of the IB at WA and the dedication of this year’s IBDP graduates is testament to this. Bruin Chan, who achieved 29 points, reflected on the experience; It was a real learning curve. It’s not so much about the grade you get but knowing what you’re capable of when you get your head down and concentrate. Then it’s a real plus that my grades were good!”.

Further success was achieved in the Academy’s International Baccalaureate Career-Related Certificate Programme (IBCC), in which Westminster Academy gained its first ever graduates, having been accredited to run the course in 2012. Dounia Rashid has been a student at the Academy since 2008 and was one of the first graduates of the IBCC at WA. She said “I’m very happy I achieved the IBCC, as I put in a lot of effort. I am now awaiting my A Level German result to add to my qualifications and am hoping to study Politics and German at Birkbeck in October before eventually going to work in the Middle East. I really enjoyed studying in the Sixth Form at Westminster Academy; it’s like a second home!”

IBCC students place great value on the variety and possibilities that the Career-related Certificate presents them with. Subjects from the rigorous IB Diploma Programme are combined with a vocational course to develop students who are both highly employable and well equipped for higher education success. Dounia points out “It involves a lot of independent work, so I really feel the IBCC has prepared me for university.”

Westminster Academy is a firm believer in the ethos of the IB, as well as its broad approach which encompasses critical and reflective thinking projects plus activities beyond the classroom to benefit the community. As such the Academy is developing its Key Stage 3 curriculum based on the IB model, culminating in a ‘WA Baccalaureate’ for successful students at the end of Year 8.

Principal, Ms Smita Bora said “As the only non fee paying IB school in the Tri-Borough and currently second in the Westminster Sixth Form state school league tables, I am proud that Westminster Academy students and teachers have continued our strong tradition of Sixth Form excellence.”