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£1.6 million to help young people

Last Thursday was an important day for the Brewers’ Company, when the Court of Assistants approved (subject to audit) the annual distribution, this year of £1.6 million, from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation (DAOF) to Dame Alice Owen’s School and educational projects in Islington.  The fantastic work being supported includes:

Dame Alice Owen’s School (DAOS)

Capital projects supported by the DAOF will enhance the School’s facilities to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment for all and investment in IT infrastructure and materials will ensure that the School is able to provide cutting edge technology, continuing to run schemes such as their successful “Bring Your Own Device”.  A focus on teachers and support staff will ensure that the School can continue to provide excellent opportunities in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Spanish, on the sports field and in extra-curricular activities, while maintaining a high level of support for students with additional needs.

Hannah Nemko, Headteacher of DAOS, says: “As a direct result of the significant support provided by the Dame Alice Owen Foundation, the School has continued to provide an outstanding education which matches that of many top independent schools.  We are proud to provide students from all backgrounds within the Hertfordshire and the Islington areas, some of the best available secondary education, and the opportunity of success and progression to the top universities in the country irrespective of parental income.”

Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST)

The DAOF will continue to support this excellent project which provides opportunities for school students in Islington to explore music and develop essential life skills by providing musical instruments to all students in particular year groups at participating schools.  The programme not only includes regular music lessons for the students, but also opportunities to play in concerts and attend residential courses which help to develop confidence, social skills and resilience.

Islingon STEAM Hubs

When Gillespie Primary School established Lab_13 – their classroom-sized space for science, experimentation, invention and creativity – and hired a Scientist/Inventor in Residence three years ago, they naturally expected it to have a positive impact on pupils’ enthusiasm for and progress in science.  What they did not expect was the difference Lab_13 would make beyond Science, and the impact it would have on some of their most vulnerable pupils.  Lab_13 is a child-led space where children come to explore science, to investigate their own questions and turn their ideas for inventions into reality. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Hubs project seeks to expand this work into other schools in the Islington area.

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

As the new Headteacher at St Luke’s Primary School in 2002, Ann Dwulit saw the need to culture ambition and a respect for learning within the school community.  In order to improve standards and raise aspirations, Ann recognised that children needed to find their voice, to develop fluency in speaking and etiquette, and to deepen their understanding of the world.  P4C engages children in group dialogue in response to intriguing stimulus material (for example a picture book or short film).  Children learn to raise increasingly philosophical questions, construct arguments and probe the meaning of concepts such as ‘fairness’, ‘freedom’, ‘friendship’ and ‘truth’.  With funding from the DAOF, seven schools in Islington will benefit from this project.

Company Three

With the support of the DAOF, Company Three continue to invest in a programme of in-depth and long-term theatrical training and support for a core company of 75 vulnerable or ‘at risk’ young people.  This programme has provided over 847 hours of activity, including weekly sessions during term-time and projects during school holidays.  The programme seeks to embed crucial speaking and listening skills, enabling participants to develop much-needed interpersonal skills.