Platform at Westminster School:
Platform is for Year 5 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with intellectual ambition and academic potential. It occurs at the prestigious independent Westminster School - with past pupils of the school including politicians, authors and musicians.
The programme aims to fuel the ambition of boys and girls who show excellent academic potential in Key Stage 2. In particular, they want to provide new and different learning opportunities for students who may not otherwise have the chance. The programme works with Headteachers in over thirty London primaries to identify the pupils in their schools for whom this programme will have the most meaningful impact. Since its conception, St James Hatcham has had pupils selected for the programme each year and in many years had the largest number of selected attendees.
Platform pupils enjoy a rigorous, challenging and eye-opening educational experience – a preparation for future opportunities and success. At the end of the programme, boys and girls may choose to sit the entrance examinations of selective state schools, academies or independent schools where full bursary provision is available. Boys have the opportunity to apply to Westminster School for entry at 11+, and are supported through this process.
Shine at Bromley High School:
The Shine Project is a programme of Saturday workshops which gives children a chance to learn in a new way, with able children from St James Hatcham, Southborough Lane and Orchard Primary in the excellent facilities of the independent Bromley High School.
The programme seeks to address the requirements of local primary school heads in terms of extension activities for their most able students. The measure of success is the pupils' own self reflection logs and the assessment of the participating school heads. Bromley High School invite families of participants into the school for breakfast and a school tour and encourage applications to the senior school for fully funded bursary places. During the last SHINE project, three pupils who participated in the programme previously are currently Bromley High School pupils on 100% bursaries and Bromley High School regularly have regularly offered bursaries to participants from our school. All participating students grow in confidence and experience increased self esteem.
Organisation for Identity and Cultural Development:
Prejudice, division, hatred and violence stand in the way of human development and the OICD create projects that help organizations and agencies to use the power of identity and culture to counter divisions and build social cohesion and inclusion, helping to realize human growth and potential. They have extremely positive results working in war zones across the world and with gang members in Canada.
Providing Teachers with the Tools to Teach "Identity Literacy"
Last year, the OICD, in partnership with Goldsmiths University, created a course for teachers which focused on giving teachers the tools to help children understand how their identities function. This improved "identity literacy" can help the child to recognize and resist divisive cultural narratives as well as effectively process and manage discriminatory attitudes and behaviors in themselves and others.
The course we have developed for the Goldsmith's teachers Centre allows the teacher to gain an understanding of how identity works as a psychological and social system in children and in adults. The course encourages teachers to develop ways to equip the child with the understanding of how their own identities function in everyday interactions. Through doing so, the child can learn to recognize how flexible and diverse identities are created and shaped. This learning extends the child’s “identity literacy”, increasing resilience and self-actualization as a result.
Conversations during the course led to St James Hatcham being discussed as the first school in the UK for the OICD to work with directly to create a school project that could be rolled out to other schools. We are honoured to be part of this partnership and cannot wait to see the learning and opportunities it provides.