July 25 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Children at a Newham school rubbed shoulders with Royalty and celebrities when they had a visit from Princess Beatrice and Richard Branson’s children.
The high profile guests spent the day at Langdon Academy, East Ham where they met some of the school’s Franklin Scholars, Year 10 students who are involved in mentoring their younger colleagues in Year 7.
The Franklin Scholars programme encourages promising Year 10 students to provide targeted academic mentoring and skills coaching for the younger children that need it most, when they need it most. It has been run every Wednesday lunchtime since September last year.
As a result of its commitment over the last year, Langdon is now seen as the ‘flagship’ school for the initiative which has recently received huge backing from prestigious charities such as the ‘Big Change’ charitable trust.
Irene Kolawole, a Year 10 Franklin Scholar, said: “Being a Franklin Scholar is a real honour. Just to play a huge role in helping and encouraging others is a real treat. Having a chance to meet Princess Beatrice and other guests was spectacular. They took great pride in what we did as Franklin Scholars and urged us to continue supporting others as we strive to achieve our goals.”
Jon Bilby, assistant principal for Key Stage 4 at the school, said: “The young people were magnificent and an absolute credit to themselves and us all here at Langdon Academy. The initiative is embedded alongside our curriculum and the impact on our young people is evident for all to see!”
In addition to Princess Beatrice, Sam and Holly Branson were accompanied by their cousin Noah Devereux, to the school as part of the Virgin Strive Challenge 2014. It is run by the charity Big Change which aims to inspire young people and raise funds for projects like Franklin Scholars.
Sam and Noah said: “We were completely bowled over by the energy and enthusiasm of the Franklin Scholars. Each question we were faced during the Q&A was considered and relevant and every one of the students demonstrated a real understanding of Life Skills and why they are so important as they questioned us on teamwork, resilience and perseverance.”