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Supporting Education in Islington and Beyond

The Brewers’ Company is proud to act as Trustee to the Dame Alice Owen’s Foundation (DAOF), one of the largest charities which we support.  It’s aims are to support Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar and educational purposes in Islington.  Each January, Brewers’ Company representatives are pleased to be able to visit schools and programmes benefitting from DAOF funding and this year’s visit was a great success.

The visiting party first had the opportunity to meet with students participating in the Upward Bound programme, which aims to increase the success of targeted 13-16 year old pupils from the eight state maintained secondary schools in Islington by enabling the pupils to achieve (at least) five A*-C grades at GCSE, supporting their progression to full-time Further Education or sixth form education, and helping pupils to obtain a university place.  The programme provides an alternative learning environment within a university setting, addressing the academic, social and cultural needs of the cohort.  It was exciting to see the students’ evident enthusiasm for the work that they have been doing.  The poetry that the students had written for the Upward Bound Year 9 Poetry Slam and performed for the visitors was both thought provoking and of an extremely high quality.

At Gillespie Primary School the visitors met the Lab_13 Committee from Year 5 and heard about the Ingenious Inventors Club run buy the school’s Inventor-in-Residence.  The students, with great enthusiasm, then described the various experiments and research that they had been undertaking both in and out of school time.

Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls hosted the musical part of the visit where the visitors were treated to performances by students from Mount Carmel, St Mary Magdalene Academy and Arts and Media School Islington as well as hearing pieces composed by Year 12 students from Highbury Grove School, all of which have been participating in the Music in Secondary Schools Trust scheme.  This innovative programme promotes the education of young people in music by providing an instrument to each pupil and music lessons to whole year groups of students, to enrich lives and improve discipline and commitment to learning.  The students were clearly enjoying themselves during the performances, while at the same time learning valuable skills for the future.

The day concluded with a visit to Dame Alice Owen’s School (DAOS), where the watchword was “resilience”.  The visitors had a chance to observe how DAOS staff encourage risk-taking to facilitate progress and confidence amongst students in lessons, as well as being able to chat with students who have achieved their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award about how the extra-curricular life of the school has helped form them as resilient, determined young adults.

The visit was a fantastic opportunity to see the real impact that the charitable work of the Brewers’ Company has on young people, and we are very grateful to all of the hosting schools as well as the team from Islington Council.