Posts Tagged ‘Young People’

Jack Petchey Awards in the Stowe

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

jackpetcheyfoundation.org.uk 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)

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