Tuesday, 3 May 2016

St Paul's Academy with St Paul's Academy at the Olympic Park

Citizens UK with St Paul's Academy at the CopperBox Arena


6000 students, staff and politicians join as a community to debate current issues affecting London residents at the CopperBox Arena.

The picture about is the conclusion to a series of workshops, presentations and active learning of students at St Paul’s Academy with Citizens UK this year. This was a fruitful relationship in which empowered the students to engage in local issues such as affordable housing and the London Living Wage. A highlight of this and one that really showcased how our students are assets to our school community, was consolidated with Dylan Wiggins producing an amazing speech to a sell-out 6000 strong crowd of students and politicians at the Copperbox Arena. 

This can be seen at below:

On Thursday 28th April students from Year 10 Geography, Choir members under the expert guidance of Claire Viner and Richard Mayne and Diana Webb’s outstanding Citizens UK work group supported and celebrated Dylan’s achievements. Richard Mayne will elaborated further on in this later on in the piece.

The students were able to listen to the two Mayor candidates (Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan) in the lead up to the London Mayor Elections on May 5th. The Year 10 in particular drew on knowledge that links into their WJEC GCSE curriculum on ‘Theme 1: Challenges in the Built Environment’. The topics that were of interest included affordable housing, youth employment and the London economy, in particular the London Living Wage. All topics are of vital importance on their future lives. A recent article in The Guardian has suggested the average age of youth moving out to buy their own properties has now reached the age of 34 years. This coincides with over 5 billion pounds being paid by parents in 2016 for their children to access the housing market.

One of the core campaigns debated by the electorates after moving speeches by some of London’s student population.
Both politicians have pledged commitment to tackle London’s housing crisis and have supported many of the proposals presented by the community action group Citizens UK. The group used students from around Newham, Stratford and as far reaching as Abbey Wood, to give inspiring speeches on how housing, migrant status and job security were factors that affected their lives today. Lateef Lawal summarises the evening perfectly by quoting ‘Attending the CopperBox Arena made me more aware of the current issues affecting immigrants for asylum status in London. Witnessing the Mayor Electorates allowed me to understand issues of housing, employment of youth and the London Living Wage. I never realised the amount of teenagers with the potential to shape London’s society for the future. Working with Citizens UK has allowed me to be a decision-maker and open the eyes of MPs, like Theresa Pearce, on issues such as improving local housing in Thamesmead. I felt empowered by being a voice that could be heard ’.
St Paul’s Academy students outside the CopperBox Arena.
Hearing the London Mayor Electorates outline their terms of tenure in relation to the proposals of Citizens UK was an invaluable experience to our children. However, it would naïve to assume this was the most defining moment. To promote sustainable change we must engage and empower our students in issues of this significance. It is paramount to facilitate more of these experiences for our students – who are active members of the London community – to become the citizens that are the catalysts of change. Dylan Wiggins depicts one of these citizens whose powerful speech captivated the audience and he is a future star in the making!

Have a look at the videos from our YouTube Channel below:

#Where is your next geographical classroom?

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