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Raynes Park High School - October 2014

2014 Higher Aspirations Programme launches at RPHS 

The launch of the 2014 Merton Sixth Form Partnership’ Higher Education Aspirations Programme’ took place at Raynes Park High School, with over 200 Year 12 students from across the borough in attendance. 

The Merton Sixth Form Partnership Programme brings together all of Merton’s Sixth Forms; Ricards Lodge High School, Rutlish School, St Mark’s Church of England Academy, Ursuline High School, Wimbledon College and Raynes Park Sixth Form to offer students an introduction to a range of Higher and Further education possibilities. 

The Programme was introduced by Jane Lawner, Director of Sixth Form at Raynes Park High School, after which students broke into groups for presentations across five different sessions including; the Creative Industries, Apprenticeships, Medicine, Oxbridge and the Russell Group of Universities. Speakers at the event included representatives from University of Oxford, Roehampton University, St George’s University and King’s College London. 

Ms Lawner said “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to find out about Higher Education and particularly the opportunities for our most able students across the borough. The programme continues throughout the year with up to six sessions led by the participating schools, ensuring students receive appropriate information and guidance on how to apply and secure a place at a top university or apprenticeship scheme.”


Honour for Kazoo as FGM Video shown to World Leaders 

As the summer holidays began we waited to hear the result of the Department of International Development’s ‘Shape the Future’ competition. Announced at the Department’s Youth for Change summit on Saturday 19th July, the contest challenged UK schoolchildren to submit their best ideas on how to improve the life chances of girls and women in developing countries.

RPHS team ‘Kazoo’ were in the final of this prestigious, competition and when the news came that they were ‘Highly Commended’ runners up, everyone at RPHS was delighted.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said: "The excellent entries to this year’s Shape the Future competition show that British schoolchildren understand the challenges facing girls and boys in developing countries. Young people are the change -makers of tomorrow and Raynes Park High School’s entry shows that they want to be part of the solution for a better future."


There was an even greater honour for the Raynes Park High School team as their video promoting gender equality was broadcast to political leaders, celebrities and campaigners from around the world as they gathered at the UK's Girl Summit on 22nd July. 

Asking challenging questions about girls' education, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in their video entry, the team filmed teachers' and pupils' responses before asking: "If you agree that our journey towards all girls realising their rights is not over, what are you doing to change it?" 

The group of eight Year 9 and 10 students also created a website and forum kazoointernational.weebly.com linked to a Twitter account, to provoke a global discussion about gender equality.

Natasha, 15, a member of the team, said: "I have been shocked by the response to our ideas on our website, as well as the response to some questions we asked.” 

"Almost no-one knew what FGM was, including myself until a few weeks ago. Our video proves the message needs to be spread wider, not just about FGM but many things, like women's education." Raynes Park High School was highly commended by a panel of young people and development experts as one of the top three competition entries at the YouthForChange on 19th July. 

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