Barack Obama's UK Ambassador Visits SPWT

Matthew Barzun, US Ambassador to the UK

St Paul's Way Trust Sixth Form were thrilled to receive a visit from the US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun. Ambassador Barzun gave a lively and engaging presentation encouraging students to explore their feeling about the US, both positive and negative. In response to questions, he covered a wide range of topics including America's role in international politics, gun crime and the American Dream.

Sahra Botan Year 13 described his comments as "really interesting – his response to sometimes controversial issues was very open and he acknowledged what we were saying". Another student described him as "charismatic – he had a great presence and was very impressive". Two students in Year 13, Naeema Farrah and Malachi Willis, were each presented with a US Embassy coin in recognition of their outstanding academic progress and commitment to school life.

Executive Headteacher Grahame Price explained, "our weekly visiting speaker slot gives our Sixth Formers the opportunity to meet a wide range of people who share their experiences and their ideas, it was a particular honour to welcome Ambassador Barzun and to hear about the special relationship between the US and the UK."

HRH The Prince of Wales Visits St Paul's Way

  Prince Charles greets an enthusiastic group of SPWT students

Prince Charles greets an enthusiastic group of SPWT students

  Prince Charles speaking to Mohammed Abdus Samad, Police Cadet

Prince Charles speaking to Mohammed Abdus Samad, Police Cadet

Students from St Paul's Way Trust School were delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales when he visited St Paul's Way in May. Prince Charles was visiting to open the Prince's Trust Morgan Stanley Centre which will work with young people developing both their life skills and their business skills.

Executive Headteacher Grahame Price said 'The new centre is an excellent addition to the range of opportunities available to the young people of Poplar and across the Borough'.

'The Prince's Trust has an excellent reputation for supporting young people to achieve their ambitions often working with youngsters that have struggled to find the right path as well as the next generation of entrepreneurs'.

St Paul's Way Trust School has been working with the Prince's Trust for over five years with many youngsters benefitting from their innovative 'Fairbridge' programme.

On his arrival Prince Charles shook hands and chatted with a number of Year 7 students, afterwards Raihan Ul-Karim commented 'I can't believe that I have just shaken the hand of the future King!' (Top picture).

Meeting Mohammed Abdus Samad, one of the school's Police Cadets, the Prince asked what job he would be seeking in the future 'I want to join the police force' was the confident reply (Bottom picture).

Brilliant Beattie Retains the Trophy!

  Beattie delivering her amazing performance in the final

Beattie delivering her amazing performance in the final

For the second consecutive year St Paul's Way Trust School has won the Tower Hamlets Education and Business Partnership (EBP) Public Speaking Competition.

Two of our Year 10 public speakers, Beattie Green and Naima Omar, competed in the finals of the competition held at Lloyds of London in the City, cheered on by their families, friends and teachers.

Beattie and Naima gave exceptional performances. Naima explained the vital importance of 'food security' drawing on a range of real world events. Beattie was looking to the future. She described a world where drone technology is on the verge of taking charge but is stopped from doing so by young people. Beattie said that young people 'understand the value of imperfection, of humanity and of the need for freedom of expression' and that this means they can embrace technologies that make life better, without losing their autonomy.

This year, fifteen secondary schools took part in the competition and nine schools made it to the final. All of the competitors spoke with passion and enthusiasm on their chosen topics but there could only be one winner. Beattie's success in the competition is becoming a St Paul's Way tradition and we are delighted to have the Mildred Gordon Cup in the trophy cabinet once again. Since 2011 we have never been out of the 'top three' in the finals so the pressure is already on for next year.

Congratulations to both our finalists and to Beattie for her very well deserved victory!

J P Morgan grant boosts enterprise at St Paul's Way Trust School


A major new programme to help children learn enterprise and employability skills will be launched at St Paul's Way Trust School in January 2015.

A generous grant from J P Morgan to the school, in association with St Paul's Way Community Interest Company, will support students to develop their own business ideas, and turn their plans into real community enterprises. The grant will also support the school to develop a more comprehensive work experience programme, meaning that every student will have opportunities to learn about work which is tailored to their hopes for the future.

This is the second grant from J P Morgan to the school. In 2013-14 the school ran a pilot enterprise programme which led to the creation of micro-enterprises run by students. These included 'Trust Food' which created a recipe book, working with Tesco locally on its format and design. 'Bouquet Bou' sold children's clothes presented as beautiful cloth bouquets. Younger students took part in a 'tenner challenge' to make a profit from their initial investments of £10.

Students also took part in business related learning, including how to develop a business plan, do market research, sell products and write accounts. Students in the VI Form took part in internships at J P Morgan over the 2014 summer holidays.

The new programme seeks to build on the foundations laid by the pilot scheme. A new Director of Learning for Enterprise and Employability will work to develop an extensive programme of engagement with local businesses to create opportunities for work experience, internships and business mentoring. The team in school will support the micro-enterprises which have already started to become independent businesses, and will help students throughout the school to develop new ideas into real businesses.

A further strand, based at St Paul's Way Community Interest Company, will support the development of community based enterprises such as 'Mohila Creations', which was founded by parents of children at the school, and has been trading successfully for 3 years.

The J P Morgan project is a part of the school's 'St Paul's Way Graduate' curriculum offer. By focusing on the 6 key strands of Communication, Investigation, Participation, Networking, Scholarship and Vision, students are prepared to embrace life with confidence on leaving school. By learning about business and enterprise within a community context and an ethical framework, students will be well positioned, as they move onto the next stages of their education, to enter employment and wealth creation.

Hang Ho, UK Philanthropy Representative at J P Morgan, said: "J.P. Morgan is committed to working with our neighbours in East London on projects that support our local community in meaningful and sustainable ways. We have been hugely impressed by the young entrepreneurs that we have met from St Paul's Way Trust School and are very excited to be working with the school on this new and inspiring project.'

Jan Iley, leading on the Enterprise and Employability project for the school, said:

"J P Morgan's grant supports our students to develop a wider perspective. They are given chances to network with people running real businesses, as well as to develop their own enterprise ideas. The opportunities for work experience and internships will open up a wide range of new opportunities."

"The school is very grateful to J P Morgan for its ongoing support."