- The SPGS journey
- Beyond the classroom
- Partnerships and Community
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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 the school and engage our students in wider collaboration. We partner with a range of organisations, including IntoUniversity 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. In addition to the sharing of our facilities and resources, we also run a variety of community projects.
St Paul’s students participate in a multitude of community activities. As part of our Art Detectives programme, Senior School students lead history of art sessions with year groups 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 VII students 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 practice 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 Music Junction, an innovative project aimed at bringing together young people from varied socio-economic backgrounds through musical education. SPGS 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 with the London Chamber Orchestra and Apollo5.
MIV students also join forces with students from three local schools to participate in a entrepreneurship project designed to build connections and introduce the students to new skills; most recently, students were given the challenge of designing a new restaurant and formulating a business plan.
Our annual Summer School invites around 60 Gifted and Talented local primary school students to experience a fun, inspirational week of St Paul’s Girls’ teaching and activities, covering topics including linguistics, anthropology and computer coding. In 2019, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of GCHQ, we ran our very own Spy Camp, with students exploring topics such as musical codes, invisible ink testing and the language of spies.
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 used our Great Hall and Sports Hall to host 600 Year 5 students as part of their programme.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made clearer than ever the role we have to play in the local community. During the crisis, volunteers from our 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.