Students shared their views on tackling racism with a black Metropolitan Police officer during a series of events at Capital City College Group (CCCG) to mark Black History Month.
Inspector Chris Excell, who has served the Met for 15 years, was among the guests invited to give talks to students at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
Insp Excell shared his experience of being a black police officer, a brief history of black police officers in Britain and his role as the Chair of the Black Police Association at the Met.
Students at CONEL also heard from Corporal Nyerere St John who spoke about being a black soldier in the British Army and gave his advice on careers in the Armed Forces.
There were also talks and presentations on black history, the slave trade, Marie Seacole, black Olympians, black footballers, black scientists and inventors, black hair and beauty, black music and the screening of a documentary on the Windrush generation.
City and Islington College (CANDI) hosted a Chat and Chillax session where students took part in a discussion about Black History Month, what it means to them, why it is important and ways to tackle racism in society.
Students also participated in workshops where they wrote positive affirmations to promote more tolerance in society on leaf-shaped pieces of paper that were then stuck to a large picture of a ‘tree of hope’ for their peers to read.
Among the uplifting messages placed on the tree were ‘Everyone is allowed to live freely’, ‘Respect each other’, ‘Love each other’ and ‘Educate ourselves and others.’
The atrium at Westminster Kingsway College’s King’s Cross Centre was adorned with flags from countries around the world to represent the diversity of its staff and students.
Students heard talks from guest speakers from BAME backgrounds including entrepreneur Tlwalola Ogunles, youth mentor Luke Malillah, actor and presenter Jordan Kensington, social mobility advocate Kevin Osei, property investor TJ Atkinson and WestKing administrator Lorna Blackman.
They were also encouraged to read books by black authors in the college’s Learning Resource Centre including Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and Slay in Your Lane by Elizabeth Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené.
There were screenings off Becoming, the documentary on life of former US First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rocks, a drama about a black teenage girl and her brother in Hackney whose mum abandons them, forcing them to try and avoid being taken into social care.
Music students also put on live performances of their own songs inspired by black music.
CCCG runs many enrichment activities across its three colleges for students personal and professional development. Find out more about Student Life at WestKing here.
With the academic year well under way, Year 11 students are now settling into their final year of school and knuckling down ahead of their GCSEs next summer.
Many will also be thinking about their future, and it is important for them to realise that staying on at school sixth form is not the only or always the best option.
Here’s six fantastic reasons why they should choose Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) over school when it comes to taking the next step in their education.
- A bigger choice of qualifications and pathways – Whether you want to take the academic or technical route to university or employment we have the right course for you. Choose from A Levels, BTEC and City & Guilds diplomas and certificates, apprenticeships with top employers, along with our first T Levels.
- A huge range of subjects – We offer A Levels in many subjects along with courses in accounting and business, IT, creative media, art and design, construction, childcare, engineering, hospitality and culinary arts, music and performing arts, public services, science and sport.
- Students are treated like adults – There’s no ‘Yes Sir’ or ‘Yes Miss’ here. Students are often on first name terms with the teachers and given the personal responsibility for getting their work assignments done. Of course, we will still encourage, motivate and support our students to succeed.
- Make new friends – A chance to widen your social circle and get to know more people. The more you broaden your horizons, the more opportunities that are presented to you in work and life.
- Industry experienced teachers – Many of our lecturers and tutors have worked in the fields they teach and are able to share first-hand knowledge and experience to give students the professional skills and realistic expectations of their future careers.
- Fantastic enrichment and support – Students benefit from a more rounded education including trips at home and abroad, talks from industry experts, debates and workshops, competitions, community projects, sports, clubs and societies, careers advice and support with UCAS applications.
DON’T FORGET OUR OPEN DAYS
- King’s Cross Centre –Wednesday 2 November from 4.30pm to 6.30pm
- Victoria Centre (includes Soho Centre) – Monday 7 November from 4.30pm to 6.30pm
A Level Media students at Westminster Kingsway College have been inspired by a visit from a former news journalist who gave them the scoop on working in journalism.
Paul Cassell worked for the Reading Post and its sister papers The Wokingham Times and Bracknell Standard from 2003-2013. He is now Senior Press Officer for Capital City College Group, which includes WestKing.
He joined the students during one of their lessons at the college’s King’s Cross Centre and explained what skills journalists need, what makes a story newsworthy and gave them advice on getting into the industry.
Paul also provided tips on interviewing and writing techniques including an exercise where students pretended to be journalists interviewing people about a fictional fire, and another where they had to turn fairytales and nursery rhymes into news stories. Media student Abena Peprah, 18, who hopes to become a broadcast journalist, said: “Today has been very helpful. It’s given me a really deep insight into the world of journalism and what I need to put in place for my dream career to happen.
“I’m a very confident, adventurous and spontaneous person and like the idea of going out and speaking to other people ad hearing their opinions that may be different to my own and understanding things from their perspective.”
Another student, Sean Weale, 18, said: “I would like to get into investigative journalism as I like solving problems. Being able to travel the world and interview people also really inspires me.
“It was interesting finding out what makes a story newsworthy and what questions to ask when you’re interviewing someone. I had the gist of what journalism was, but I learnt a lot of new things during the presentation.”
Paul covered many different aspects of news during his journalism career including crime, politics, education, health, business, entertainment, environmental and human interest stories after studying a National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) course.
In that time, he had the opportunity to interview many high-profile figures including Theresa May, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, and bands and celebrities including Squeeze, McFly, Jenny Agutter, Stephen Merchant, John Challis, Samantha Womack and Ralf Little.
Paul also covered the Royal Wedding party celebrations of Reading-born Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William in her home village of Bucklebury, and the Olympic torch being carried through Reading ahead of the London 2012 Games.
Roxanne Baptiste, Lecturer in A Level Media Studies, said: “We really appreciated Paul coming in and giving our students an insight in what it’s like to be a journalist and the skills they need to work in the media industry.
“As part of the A Level media course students study newspapers and online news with particular emphasis on the political ideology of the institution and how that influences news stories.
“The session really got them thinking about what is expected of journalists at a professional level and the skills and knowledge required, how to research and write stories, and the preparation and study they need to do for a journalism career.”
Apply now for A Levels at WestKing.