More than 650 Year 2-6 pupils from 23 Lambeth primary schools interacted with speakers sharing their paths to success in 15 ‘Aim High’ sessions over the week. The experts represented the Black Googlers Network, the African Caribbean Medical Mentors Association (ACMM), educators, lawyers, economists, storytellers, a vet, a member of Mensa, a police officer, an actress, a child psychologist, a fashion designer, a journalist, Lambeth Cabinet members Cllr Winifred and Cllr Brathwaite, and Lambeth’s Director of Children’s Social Care Alex Kubeyinje.
Eager to learn
Each session let pupils meet four or five speakers, hear about their life/work journeys and get curious. Abigail Morakinyo, a Senior Nurse, reflected: “Pupils were eager to learn – demonstrated by the quantity and quality of questions.” Highlights included Samantha Williams’ ‘multicultural book carnival’, featuring stories with all-BAME protagonists, storyteller Alim Kamara, and the medical Mentors’ ‘locate vital organs’. Ashley Knowles, Deputy Head of Dunraven Primary School, called it “a brilliant starting point to explore and discuss future careers”.
Pupils praised events as ‘inspiring’, ‘interesting’ and ‘exciting’, said they both ‘learned a lot’ and ‘made new friends’. One year 3 pupil commented: “I liked that we focu
sed on Black speakers”. A year 5 pupil said: “Today’s session boosted my confidence and made me think what I’d like to do.” And one from year 2 wrote: “I learned I can do anything I dream”, (their dream is becoming an astronomer). Other careers included barrister, palaeontologist, doctor, actor and artist. The vast majority of speakers were keen on repeating the experience, as some already have. Helen Hosein, an Enterprise Engineer for Google said: “being involved was a privilege”; and Alex Kubeyinje, “I wish I’d had something like this fantastic opportunity in school”.
Aim High is part of Raising the Game: Achievement of Black Caribbean Pupils in Lambeth – a two-year project which focuses on closing the attainment gap between Black Caribbean pupils and their peers, as well as reducing exclusion for this group. For more on the initiatives in the project, see the information pages.