Posts Tagged ‘Young People’

Westbourne Has Voted

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Ballot box and ballot papersWestbourne Forum Elections for the Forum’s Management Committee took place last Saturday 15th of November in the Stowe Centre. 17 candidates were battling for the 12 spaces on the committee. The decision was down to the local people to choose their representatives.

The votes have been counted and we are pleased to announce that the12 candidates with the highest numbers of votes, who will be joining the Forum’s Management Committee, are:

Residents: HARRAULT, Lawrence
Young People: TAHA, Fatima
BETTACHE, Noumeira
Voluntary and community organisation representatives: BIGGS, Geoff
GALE, Toby
AHMED, Manahil
HERSI, Shamsa

Congratulations to all successful candidates and we look forward to hearing about the next steps of the Forum towards developing a Neighbourhood Plan!

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Families Against Extremism

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Flyer header: Families against Extremism event -16th October 6pm - 8pm @ The Stowe Centre, 260 Harrow Rd, London W2 5ES

Families Against Extremism

Flyer photo: Families against Extremism event -16th October 6pm - 8pm @ The Stowe Centre, 260 Harrow Rd, London W2 5ES

Are you concerned about your children getting involved in gangs or extremist groups?

Are you worried about community safety?

Would you like to do something about it but not sure what to do?

Westminster Integrated Gangs Unit in partnership with The Abbey Centre would like to invite you to attend a public event addressing these issues. Come along to express your concerns about the local area and meet your neighbours.

16th October 6pm – 8pm

The Stowe Centre, 260 Harrow Rd, London W2 5ES

The Keynote speaker will be Manni Ibrahim (Westminster City Council Integrated Gangs Unit) and Sayda El Sharief ( Family Coaching ). Come along for free coffee, tea and light refreshments.

Jack Petchey Awards in the Stowe

Sunday, July 27th, 2014 logoThe Stowe Centre runs the Jack Petchy Achievement Award Scheme where young people vote for their peers and decide who gets awarded £200 which then they can spend on training or equipment for the youth club.

Here are the stories of this year’s winners:

Corey, 17, has been a member of the Stowe Youth Club for the past three years. When Corey first started, had confidence issues mainly because of his weight . Corey joined the cooking class which operates every Tuesday, where young people are taught how to cook a healthy meal on a budget. Corey has been volunteering in the cooking sessions for eight months and has changed his eating habits, which lead to weight loss and increased confidence. Since then, Corey has supported and inspired other young people who had similar issues.

Corey used the £200 he was awarded by the Jack Petchey foundation for cooking equipment.

Brenton, 19, has been a member of the Stowe Youth Club for six years. During that time he has taught himself how to write and produce music. He has been volunteering in the MAC room each Thursday and Friday evening for the last 2 years and supporting a member of the youth team in delivering music production classes to young people who attend the youth club.

Brenton has become an accomplished teacher who delivers his support with confidence.

Brenton was awarded £200 and decided to spend the money on new keyboards for the music production class.

Jorden, 17, has been a member of the Stowe Youth Club for 3 years. During that time he has developed a passion for sports, which has helped him to overcome his shyness. In the past 6 months Jorden has been volunteering in the junior group every Monday and Friday, and has grown as a person and gained a lot of confidence. Jorden is now going to college to study sport science.

Jorden was awarded £200 and decided to spend the money on sporting equipment for the youth club.

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.”

Westbourne Summer Festival 2014

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Westbourne Festival Summer 2013The Westbourne Summer Festival is back on Sunday 22nd of June 1pm – 5pm.

After last summer’s beach party, we are moving even closer to the water for this year’s day of fun.

Since Westbourne Green is currently occupied by the Thames Water’s works, the festival will be taking place next to the canal.

Local resident Sara Hamid has been appointed as a Events Coordinator by Paddington Development Trust, and will be very busy over the next months to ensure this year’s festival will be one to remember. Sarah will be working alongside local residents and community organization, as well as City West Homes.

Expect plenty of fun activities for the whole family, sport activities, bouncy castle, musical performances and plenty more!

Political sparring inspires Academy Council

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

In March, Westminster Academy was thrilled to host the first meeting between the sitting Labour MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck, and the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party, Councillor Lindsey Hall. With election campaigns beginning to dominate the news, the opponents were invited to the Academy to engage in a question and answer session with the student council, raising awareness of the importance of voting as well as issues affecting Westminster and young people.

As members of Westminster Academy’s student council we carry the duty and responsibility, as well as desire, to represent our own views and those of our classmates on the Academy board, pursuing improvements that will help students and teachers to cooperate harmoniously in order for us to achieve the best of our capabilities. Therefore, to observe citizens who take it upon themselves to do the same in the community and nation they want to see prosper, debate their own views and political stances, was certainly a fascinating experience.

Karen Buck MP and Councillor Hall were both the perfect metonymic example of what happens at a much larger scale between the Conservatives and Labour at the House of Commons, rebutting each other with feisty energy and strong arguments.  Because we are the new generation emerging in this political environment, our questions involved our upcoming roles, what influences we can have and why we should vote for either party. The answers were as diverse as their political stances and I believe this ultimately helped to further direct us to become politically conscious individuals.

By Kevin De Wit, Year 13 (Academy Council Chair)