Our Lady’s named London Citizens’ School of the Year

A Stamford Hill school beat over 100 others London wide to win an award recognising its involvement in practical projects to improve the lives of its students and their neighbours.

Pupils at Our Lady’s Convent in Amhurst Park Our Lady’s have helped establish a CitySafe Zone across Clapton, through building relationships with local shopkeepers to get them to become CitySafe Havens.

Shopkeepers pledge to report all crime and anti-social behaviour to the police, and agree to offer their premises as places of safety for those in immediate danger.

Pupils have also worked on projects to improve transport facilities on the 253 and 254 bus routes, helped encourage supermarket Tesco’s to pay the Living Wage and successfully ensured that the 2012 Olympics will be the first Living Wage Olympics.

London Citizens, the people’s alliance which helped organise the initiatives awarded Our Lady’s its School of the Year Award at a ceremony last week.

Headteacher Jane Gray said: “This adds to their life skills and giving them an awareness of the world around, yes exams are important but being a citizen in your local community is equally important.

“I think it enables young people to really take a positive part in their local community and feel they can do something – so often you hear they feel disempowered and disengaged, but they’ve really risen to it.

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“In terms of raising their confidence and to go out and speak to public assemblies it’s been fantastic, for me it’s win win.”