Posts Tagged ‘Young People’

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)

Off to Costa Rica

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Off to Costa Rica

Crossing a near frozen stream at dawn is not everyone’s idea of fun but it’s a skill these young people may need when they head off to Nicaragua or Tanzania this summer.

The picture was taken at a ‘boot camp’ run by Raleigh International last month to select young people with the resilience to do well on a six week volunteering experience abroad where they will help support building and educational projects in poor villages.

Westbourne Resident Zeyad Al-Harti To our, and their delight, two young clients from the Westminster Work’s employment programme were selected. Matthew Manning from Church Street and Zeyad Al-Harti from Westbourne both won sponsored places and will be setting off to Costa Rica in June and July.

Matthew Manning , 20 years old, will be off to Tanzania, “I have always wanted to do something like this,” he says “but I could never afford it just on my own. I volunteer now in a club to help young people but this trip will be a whole different experience. I can’t wait to go!” His career goal is to be a primary school teacher.

Winning their places took a lot more than just wet feet. The successful participants had to research and deliver a presentation to a panel of judges, attend a three day residential with day and night time outdoor challenges and now they have to raise a £700 contribution towards the trip (for which the real cost is nearer £5,000).

The pilot project to help young people from Westminster’s regeneration neighbourhoods to access overseas opportunities is being run jointly by Raleigh International, Crossrail and Paddington Development Trust.

Matthew has started fund raising already. His mother is busy baking cakes for a bake sale, his sister has offered her baby for sponsored cuddles and, if that doesn’t raise enough, Matthew plans to make money by taking on his mates’ challenge to shave his head.

Furthering skills in TOK and enterprise at an evening with Vince Cable

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

IB and Vince CableEarlier in the year, Westminster Academy Year 11 and 12 students secured an exclusive opportunity to attend an evening with the Rt Hon Vince Cable MP.

The evening was hosted at Norton Rose, where students were taken to the top floor of the More London development beforehand for an impressive view of the Thames. The event itself was for leading entrepreneurs and business leaders, but WA was lucky enough to be invited to attend by community organisation, the Patchwork Foundation.  It began with an interview with Lord Rumi Verjee CBE, founder of Domino’s Pizza in the UK. Lord Verjee gave a fascinating insight into his experiences as a highly successful entrepreneur, after arriving in the UK as an immigrant twenty years ago.  Endorsing the importance of grit, Lord Verjee’s advice to students was ‘Don’t give up when you have setbacks’.

There followed an opportunity for questions with David Sheepshanks CBE DL and Usha Prashar CBE from Community Foundations and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP. This was a great chance for students interested in a career in politics to probe into this profession and confront issues affecting young people, such as the decision between university or apprenticeships.

The organisers were extremely impressed with the attitude and questions asked by WA students. Vince Cable said; “Students from Westminster Academy displayed great confidence and business understanding at tonight’s event and I hope this will inspire a new generation of young people to consider a career in entrepreneurship.” Students found the evening enjoyable and inspiring, as well as an excellent contribution to their studies in TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and business.

Children’s Well Being Champions Project

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Westbourne Family Centre Children's Well BeingA new and exciting project working with parents to empower children in health and leadership skills has been pioneered by the Mosaic Trust and Westbourne Park Family Centre.

Westbourne Park Family Centre eventThe project runs for an hour over 10 weeks with a mix of informative and interactive learning experiences in healthy eating, and physical, social and emotional well being including leadership skills.

Westbourne Park Family Centre eventWith the involvement and support of parents the children are able to learn and make changes to their health and self confidence to become health champions in their homes and school.

The children have a lot of fun learning with their parents and the feedback and attendance has been excellent

If you would like to know more please contact either Geoff Biggs on 020 7727 6019 ext. 2 or Lena Choudary-Salter on 020 7289 1170

Update from Open Age Westbourne hub

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Open Age Westbourne HubThe monthly mobile help at Amberley has been replaced by an intergenerational computer and mobile phone workshop every Thursday from 3:30 till 5:30 at Westminster Academy. Members enjoy one-to-one help and instruction to suit their needs from Academy 6th form students.

To keep fresh and active in spring there is a new Ballroom Dancing class beginning on Friday the 14th February at 3pm at Paddington Arts. The Yoga class will now take place in Paddington Arts on Wednesdays at 2pm; the class focuses on maintaining and improving flexibility, strength and overall well-being.

The Film Club continues to run on the First Friday of each month. On March 7th will be the uplifting Great Exotic Marigold Hotel and on April 11th the recently released Le Weekend. Both will be screened on the big screen at Westminster Academy and both cost just £1, afterwards academy students and members enjoy film discussion over tea and biscuits. Invite your friends and neighbours for what is always an enjoyable Friday afternoon!

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Westminster Academy in top 1%

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Westminster Academy is celebrating outstanding results which put it among the top schools in the country for progress made, as published in the school performance tables. Almost 70% students are now achieving 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and maths – up from 17% when the Academy opened in 2007 – and the Academy is equally delighted that the progress made by individual students since joining the Academy is significantly above the national average.

TES Secondary School of the YearWestminster Academy is ranked in the top 1% of academies nationally in terms of progress measures for English, Science and its Best 8 score including English and maths. In English, 87% of students are achieving expected progress compared with 69% nationally, with 57% of students achieving more than expected progress, compared with 30% nationally. Maths results are equally impressive.

Outstanding School Ofsted gradeAmong some of the outstanding GCSE or equivalent results in 2013 were those of Sarah Al-Saad, who achieved 5 A*, 5 As and 1 B as well as an A in her Arabic AS Level. Sarah is now applying her academic skills to the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at the Sixth Form at Westminster Academy, where in 2013, Westminster Academy students beat the IB world average for the third year running.

All Westminster Academy students gain university offers and to further inspire students, the Academy’s sponsors are offering three ‘Dangoor Challenge’ scholarships for the first three students to gain a university place at Oxford, Cambridge or Imperial College in August 2015.

Pupil Premium AwardPrincipal, Smita Bora, reminded the community that the exceptional progress made by students at the Academy was reflected in last year’s Outstanding Ofsted grading and the ‘golden year’ that followed. In 2013, the Academy was presented with three national awards: the IAA (Independent Academies Association) Honorary President’s Award for Academy Transformation, TES Secondary School of the Year and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Pupil Premium Award. In addition, Westminster Academy was the only school in Westminster to win a Mayor of London’s Gold Club award. Each accolade recognises the success of the Academy’s personalised curriculum and aspirational, inclusive vision to attain excellence for all students.

Westbourne kids learn why building design matters

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Westbourne kids learning why design matters.Children from Westminster Academy are participating in a unique pilot project. Vital Regeneration, the local charity who work with Westminster City Council on the housing renewal programme, have got together with internationally acclaimed architecture practice Farrells to create an exciting educational programme.

Over ten weekly workshops ‘Sustainable Design Matters’ sees local children team up with professional architects to create their own designs for a development site in the Westbourne Green masterplan – the space under the Westway at Royal Oak.

Working in teams, students liaise with ‘clients’, face challenges such as budget cuts and disputes with neighbours and consider how to communicate their proposals. Farrells host the pioneering workshops which emulate real-life building projects and introduce the importance of sustainable building design.

Each weekly session includes a speaker talking about topics such as ‘Community and Place’, participants then have a chance to translate these ideas into their own work.

The workshops also aim to inspire local young people to consider careers in architecture, design and professions related to London’s dynamic construction industry. Making this possible by increasing their understanding of the industry and the opportunities it offers, going beyond the idea that a job in construction implies labouring on a building site.

Christian Tilleray, Deputy Chief Executive of Vital Regeneration, says

“Young people have typically been under-represented as contributors to neighbourhood development plans, despite the fact that they inherit the results. Our job is to involve and inspire the next generation of participants and we are delighted to be collaborating with Farrells to this end.”

Housing project at Harrow Road / Elmfield Way

Friday, September 13th, 2013
Public exhibition Paddington Arts, 32 Woodfield Road, W9 2BE
Opening times: Friday 20th September from 4pm to 8.30pm
Saturday 21st September from 11am to 3pm

Westminster Council is planning to redevelop the site on the corner of Harrow Road and Elmfield Way, combing specialist housing for people with learning disabilities and housing for rent for key workers.

The site currently includes a games area installed by PDT and Network Stadium Housing in 2010. At the time the games area was expected to be temporary because plans were already being drawn up for the longer-term development.

Elmfield Way ConsultationWestminster Council has agreed to provide a new games area as part of the new development. It will be significantly smaller than the current one, and will not be built till the last phase of the developments. We hope it can be designed as creatively as possible to give the best opportunities for games and play from a small area.

The public exhibition is your chance to meet the design team, see the designs, and comment on the plans for housing and for the games area.

More Links: ProjectLeaflet pdf.