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Raynes Park High School - January 2015

UpStArt Competition - Charlotte Hendry wins Judges’ prize

Former Student Charlotte Hendry, has been awarded the Judges’ Prize in the UpStArt competition launched this year to give Sixth Formers in Greater London a chance to show their work beyond the classroom. A panel of almost 40 expert judges from across the world selected thirty finalists from over 1000 entries and Art Dealer Jeff Salmon (and presenter of Channel 4’s Four Rooms) chose Charlotte’s entry as the Judges’ overall winner for her work titled ‘Mournful Man’. 

Charlotte won a cash prize of £500 and an internship at UK Greetings and MBA Advertising. A private view of the work was held on Tuesday 25th November and the art department was proud to join Charlotte for the evening to celebrate her success. The students’ work is currently being auctioned to raise money for Anne Frank Trust. All entries can be viewed on the UpStart Art website. https://up-start.co.uk

Head of Creative and Performing Arts - Ms Curtis


RPHS -Young Reporter 

Inside the Head of a Female Politician

In the news I often hear about the lack of female representatives in parliament. This issue does give me cause for concern as I, a young female with aspirations to pursue a political career, would not be taken seriously as a voice for their country. So this made me think about my local Labour MP, Siobhain McDonagh, whose surgery is just moments away from where I live. 

Within modern society there is still prejudice against gender in various jobs, so by discussing this with an experienced politician it enabled me to get a wider insight of what working in such a male-dominated job is like. 

Ms McDonagh who has been the local Mitcham and Morden MP since 1997, was delighted to hear about my interest in the topic and we arranged to meet for a short interview the following Thursday. The weather was horrendous as I approached her compact yet friendly office in the centre of Morden; she greeted me, robed in a vivid post-box red overcoat, proudly reflecting the colour of her political party. 

In the casual setting of her surgery, we were sat over a table discussing the importance of equality in politics. Ms McDonagh stated that she believes “lots of people do get discriminated against (in politics), anybody who’s not out of the norm mainstream”. She then later told me “politics has to be both about men and women, young and old, black and white… this is the 21st Century!” 

I asked Ms McDonagh what she thought of women not necessarily being the best person for a job in politics due to family and personal commitments, she said that “being an MP is for everybody, really – there’s not only one way of living your life”. The Labour MP stressed the idea that “life is hard for working women irrespective of the job they’re doing. The thing about being an MP is that you have levels of flexibility that ordinary jobs don’t have”.

Interestingly, upon being put forth the question what her advice would be for aspiring female politicians, she concluded “I don’t really know what a female politician is, my only advice is you need a strong belief in activism and working with a range of different people”. 

What I have discovered from speaking to a dedicated Labour party member is that what is initially portrayed in the media is not necessarily experienced in everyday life, and perhaps this issue isn’t a cause for concern. Should I, as a young person still be? 

Katie Fegan 11 MZ


Former Pupils Can you Help? 

We were delighted to welcome former pupil Trevor Clark (left RPHS in 1987) and now a partner with global law firm Linklaters to a Career’s Academy event. Trevor’s talk was inspiring for our students who are considering a career in law. 

Raynes Park High School is one of nearly 400 state schools and colleges across Britain which have registered with the charity Future First to set up networks of former students or alumni. 

More than 90,000 former students have already signed up to stay connected with their old school. They are inspiring young people in a number of ways; as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fundraisers. “More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in a job they’d like to do,” said Alex Shapland-Howes, Managing Director of Future First. “If they see that someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same community, has achieved a fulfilling and satisfying job, it helps them see it’s possible for them too. It’s really important for all students to be motivated to succeed in the working world and hearing first hand from relatable people in interesting jobs can make a huge difference.”  

Becky Brake, Head of Personal Development and Careers, is waiting to hear from former students on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Former students can also sign up to Future First’s alumni scheme by clicking on the “Former Students” link on the website www.futurefirst.org.uk.

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