Friday 8th July 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Kingsbury High School’s annual campaign with the charity Send My Friend to School.
Each year holds a different theme where Year 7 students come together to highlight the very serious problem of a lack of education for many children around the world.
This year’s theme focuses on the fact that more children than ever are having to flee their homes and schools due to emergencies. 37 million children, in crises affected countries, are missing out on an education.
On Friday, students made paper rucksacks to signify children fleeing their homes and schools with very few possessions. They wrote messages on the rucksacks asking World Leaders to ensure that these children are not forgotten and are a priority for International Aid. These creations will be sent to Number 10 Downing Street in the hope that world leaders will take notice and take action. To further highlight the issue, students ended the day by forming the shape of a school on the playground.
Head of the Student Development Faculty, Sarah Purtill, said “Over the last 10 years our Year 7’s have been raising awareness of the millions of children who do not have the opportunity of an education. Throughout these years we have met with Brent MP Barry Gardener; met with three International Development Minsters; taken part in Campaign films; attended meetings inside committee rooms at the Houses of Parliament and this year we took our campaigning inside Number 10 Downing Street. As a result of the years of campaigning, our students have become passionate global campaigners. It gives them an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate they are and it is fantastic to see them become dedicated to ensuring they speak out for those children missing out on school.”
Student, Richardo Rus, formed part of the Year 7 pressure group and said “It is important to take part in this campaign as there are millions of children who should have the same opportunities as we do, however they are limited by having such little resources that their future lives are dependent on having a good education. Today we are standing up and making rucksacks to raise awareness to our World leaders.”
Kingsbury High School students were selected to visit Downing Street twice in as many weeks for two separate events.
On Thursday 17th September 18 students were invited to line Downing Street to cheer on the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour – the trophy’s last stop before heading to the opening ceremony at Twickenham Stadium.
Students met David Cameron before Martin Johnson, former England rugby captain, and Maggie Alphonsi, England Women’s rugby player, arrived with the Webb Ellis cup.
Students enjoyed ruby coaching sessions in Downing Street and in the back garden of Number 10, where they were closely filmed and photographed by news teams. The footage was broadcast on National news that evening.
Kingsbury High School student and school Rugby Ambassador, Sayed -Ali Hadadi, said “It was an unreal experience. The whole day was packed with excitement and to have the ability to say that you have played rugby in the back garden of 10 Downing Street is just amazing. The whole day was topped off brilliantly by meeting Martin Johnson, an ex-rugby legend.”
After all of their hard work, students were invited in to Number 10 for sandwiches and cake.
On Thursday 24th September another set of Kingsbury High School students represented the charity, Send My Friend to School and were invited to Downing Street to deliver and help raise a flag representing ‘Partnerships for the Goals’, one of the 17 new UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This is the first time that a non-government campaign flag has ever been raised at the British Prime Minister’s residence.
At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders will commit to a series of ambitious targets to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years: end poverty, fight inequality & injustice, fix climate change.
The raising of the 17 flags is part of the campaign to ‘Tell Everyone’ about the Global Goals. Founded by Richard Curtis, the Global Goals campaign aims to reach 7 billion people in 7 days.
To support the ambition to ‘Tell Everyone’, 17 flags each representing the 17 goals will be raised at some of the most remote communities impacted by the Goals such as the Himalayas, and to some of the most iconic places on earth, from the bottom of the ocean to the North Pole. The flag to represent Quality Education has gone up in India.
Kingsbury High School student Able Kpogho said “Coming together as one to raise the flag was amazing as it’s a rare opportunity to enter 10 Downing Street.”
On Friday 3rd July Year 7 students at Kingsbury High School took part in the Send My Friend to School campaign 2015.
2015 is an important year – world leaders will gather this September in New York to decide how to tackle global poverty over the next 15 years. The Send My Friend to School campaign asked young people to ‘step into the shoes of world leaders’ and tell their local MPs how they would deliver a better future for children all over the world.
With this theme, students spent the first part of the day learning about the barriers to education millions of children in the developing world face. Students then made world leader figures with messages about what they would do if they were a world leader. These will be passed on to MP for Brent North, Barry Gardiner, to take to the House of Commons.
Students completed the day by making the shape of an eye on the school playground to tell world leaders: “We’re watching you!”
On Wednesday 02 July 2014, students at Kingsbury High School took part in the Send ALL My Friends to School campaignto remind world leaders that it is children with disabilities that are missing out most on their right to an education.
In 2000 world leaders promised universal primary education by 2015, but with only a year to go 57 million children are still out of school and over a third of them have a disability.
Year 7 students began the day with screenings of Send My Friend to School’s national campaign video, which starred Kingsbury High School and The Village School students. Students then created ‘buddy’ figures and added their voices by covering them with messages about the importance of education for all. These have been sent to local MP, Barry Gardiner, to pass on to the Prime Minister to remind the UK government of their promise.
To complete their day, the whole of Year 7 gathered on the school playground to create a giant word: ‘TEACH’.
Ms Sarah Purtill, KS3 Pastoral Curriculum Leader said “Students had the chance to reflect on how important education is and how many doors are open to them with an education. Seeing our students becoming passionate global citizens is a real inspiration, watching them become engaged and empowered acts as a reminder that we can work together to ensure that one day every child will have access to primary education.”
Ade Adepitan,broadcaster and Paralympian is supporting the 2014 campaign. Ade presents Send My Friend to School’s campaign film which links to his own story. Ade says: “If world leaders are serious about getting every child into education, they must prioritise the needs of children with disabilities now.”
Ade was born in Nigeria where he contracted polio at 15 months old. Ade moved to London before he started primary school but knows that if he had stayed in Nigeria his life would have been very different. Nigeria is the country with the largest number of out of school children, currently at over 10 million.
The Send My Friend to School campaign has been running since 2005 – each year with a different theme – and millions of young people have taken part in the UK and in 100 countries around the world. Last year the campaign focused on the global shortage of professional teachers. Half a million young people from over 5,000 schools took part and 99% of MPs were sent colourful paper messages about the vital role of teachers in realising education for all.
To get a free pack and get your school involved visit www.sendmyfriend.org
On Friday 29th November, Send My Friend to School, a campaign run by the Global Campaign for Education UK, filmed the final leg of their 2014 film at The Village School (TVS), Grove Park.
Every year, Send My Friend to School, run a campaign, teaching UK school students about the global education crisis. Schools who take part receive a free pack, including an introductory DVD containing the film.
A film crew from Jump Off The Screen spent a day at TVS filming children with disabilities working alongside students from Kingsbury High School.
TVS student, Kinjal Mileche, aged 12 said “It is important to take part in days like these because we’re helping other children all around the world get an education and a better life. I’m really excited that the film will be shown around the UK – people might get inspired and help us.”
Kingsbury High School has been supporting the Send My Friend to School campaign for eight years. The campaign, which has a different theme each year, aims to remind world leaders of the promise they made in 2000; that all children worldwide would get a quality primary education by 2015. The 2014 theme, ‘Send ALL My Friends to School’ will focus on disability and education and the main message will be that every child has the equal right to learn. There are still 57 million children who are missing out on even a basic primary education, and over a third of these children have a disability.
Kingsbury High School student, Shivani Doshi, aged 13, was filmed at TVS and also featured in the 2013 film campaign. She said “I feel passionate about Send My Friend to School, because I am in an environment where it is easy to forget about the importance of education. The campaign is reminder to me that I should not disrupt my learning as 57 million children do not get an education.
Last year, I was involved in the campaign video and it made me feel nervous, as I wanted it to create a positive impact. Knowing that schools all over the UK have watched the video, makes me feel that it is creating more pressure on the government to take action! I think more schools should get involved.”
The film will be shown to around 6,000 schools across the UK who sign up for the Send My Friend to School campaign. Schools can get involved by requesting an activity pack from the Send My Friend to School website.
The film will be available for viewing by the end of February 2014.
Year 8 students took part in Malala Day events on Friday 12th July at the Houses of Parliament and on the Southbank, to add their voice to Malala’s and make a global stand for all children everywhere to have a chance to go to school. 57 million children worldwide are still missing out on their right to a quality education.
Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl, was shot last October, on her way to school by the Taliban for speaking out about the right for girls in her country to have an education. Malala has been recovering in the UK and on her 16th birthday, made her first public speech at the United Nations (UN). She was joined by hundreds of young people from around the world, for a youth takeover of the UN, all campaigning for the rights of children worldwide to have a quality education.
In Westminster on 12th July students from Kingsbury High School joined with other young campaigners from every corner of the UK. Their ‘voices’ fed into the main proceedings in the UN and became part of a final official youth ‘Call to Action’ document on their vision for education and ending poverty. This document will be sent to the UN Summit in September when world leaders gather to work towards new post-2015 development goals.
Students from Kingsbury High School were selected to take part in the Malala Day events as they have been involved in the Send My Friend to School campaign for the last seven years.
Hibah Katta, aged 13, said “I couldn’t wait to meet with some of the members of Parliament as it was a whole new experience for me and a great way for our school to make an impact together. Hearing and reading about Malala and her bravery, honestly has made me even more inspired by her.”
Alka Vekaria, also aged 13, said “Every child deserves an education to enable them to aspire and excel in life and they can only achieve this if they get a chance or opportunity to go to school. I feel that it’s unlawful and wrong that any child in this world should lose out on an education because it’s unfair to deprive them of fulfilling their potential for a better future.
The children of today are going to be the leaders of tomorrow but they can only achieve this if they are given the chance in life to make that happen. If I have been given the opportunity to go to school for free, then why haven’t children all around the world been given this opportunity too?”
[information provided by Send My Friend to School; image by Mark Chilvers]