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We set great store by our role in the local community and our partnerships programme is a major commitment as we work to integrate with and support the communities around our school and engage our students in wider collaboration. We partner with a range of organisations, including Into University and Family Group, both of which reach out into disadvantaged communities to encourage aspiration and to support achievement, as well as providing substantial support to Transforming Lives for Good.
As part of our Art Detectives programme senior students lead history of art sessions with Year 6 students at two local primary schools, using technology to delve into the details of famous artworks. Local primary school students visit our annual ‘Living Library’, where St Paul’s students in the VII transform into ‘living books’ and discuss an interesting topic of their choice, ranging from the Tudors to tube maps! Our students volunteer in local primary schools, helping out with anything from reading practise to creating displays. These activities are enjoyable and mutually beneficial; they provide enrichment for young local students while enabling our students to make connections with the wider community.
Several major collaborative community projects run each year. Both St Paul’s Girls’ School and St Paul’s School participate in The Jupiter Project, an innovative project aimed at bringing together young people from varied socio-economic backgrounds through musical education. St Paul’s students participate in workshops with local primary schools where they perform pieces for the children and introduce them to a range of instruments, in preparation for a joint performance.
Primary pupils from across our community also attend the Primary Hub in weekly sessions where around 40 of our students act as mentors and leaders as well as giving help with homework.
A key element of our community partnerships is the sharing of our facilities and resources. Local primary schools regularly use our swimming pool and pavilion for lessons and sporting activities, and we have donated books, musical instruments and technology equipment to local schools and organisations. In recent years the National Citizenship Scheme have hosted 600 Year 5 students as part of their programme at St Paul’s. The Covid-19 pandemic made clearer than ever the role we have to play in the local community. During the crisis volunteers from the St Paul’s catering team reopened the kitchens to produce free meals for a local food bank. We also raised money to provide IT equipment for a significant number of families in our local area, enabling students to carry on with their studies online, and shared online resources with partner schools. We hope to retain and expand upon these new initiatives in the years to come.