US Ambassador Visit

The US ambassador to the UK came to Mulberry School on the 5th March to speak with students on US foreign policy and education. The students took part in an interactive presentation, which consisted of polls on key and controversial US policies over the past ten years. They were asked for their opinion on matters such as the Iraq War, the War on Terror, the use of drones, and the current international conflict with Russia over Crimea. It was an insightful and engaging presentation, which generated an open discussion on the UK-US friendship. The ambassador was very interested in the students’ concerns and worries over US intervention and foreign policy, and in a warm manner the ambassador answered their questions and addressed their concerns. This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage in a discussion with a senior diplomat and present their thoughts. As a follow up of this event, some students have been selected to visit the US embassy on Monday 17th March.

Youth Conference

The 2014 Youth Conference took place on 27th February. This award-winning conference brings Sixth Form students together from a range of backgrounds to seriously explore key social and political issues in contemporary life.  This year’s theme was ‘The Power of Voice’. We explored the ways in which media, arts, activism and political influence can be used to make a positive difference in the world. Speakers included Lucy-Anne Holmes, Activist and founder of the No More Page 3 campaign, Fiona Anderson, Journalist, Mohammed Ali, Graffiti Artist and Rahima Begum, Founder of Restless Beings. We were pleased to welcome students from Northern Ireland and from Somerset to the event, which added to the diversity of perspectives in the day’s discussion. One of the highlights of the day was when visiting students were given the opportunity to take the floor to share their points of view on the topics raised.  Students also shared their points of view in discussion groups, facilitated by Mulberry students, and in afternoon workshops. The conference was also treated to a performance by Spoken Word Artist, Bridget Minamore. Since its inception, over a decade ago this annual student-led conference has gained a reputation for its challenging discussion and powerful speakers.  Students come together in discussion groups and workshops to explore issues and consider the means of becoming active in their communities.

Wild, Wild Women

Mulberry enjoys tenth annual intergenerational arts project with Magic Me at The Women’s Library. By Samilah Naira, 9B

Magic Me is a project in which Year 9 students work with older women from our local community to create an artistic production. This year the title was ‘Wild, Wild Women’. Of course, most of us were confused when artists Sue and Polly sat down with us with tea and biscuits to talk. It wasn’t like a normal drama production when you’re up on your feet working. It was different. When we saw the older women at first, we were hesitant to talk to them but once we started we couldn’t stop. They weren’t reserved old grannies who wanted nothing to do with us, but quite the opposite. They were just like us! They were in their 60s and 80s, but soon enough age just became a number. They talked to us, really talked to us. We found ourselves enchanted by their stories. If anything it was a surprise that they trust us with so much. With every word they said we realised how lucky we were to even get then opportunity to meet them. Our world, that barely stretched past east London, grew. Our words became the base of our drama production and our friendship became the ties that pulled the whole thing together. Magic Me wasn’t just a club, it was a place where we were free to talk without any restrictions and our voices were heard without reluctance. I’ll tell you now; you’ll never meet anyone like those women anywhere else. They really are the gems hidden away behind the old, cranky, stereotypical grandmas we all imagine. To the next year’s Magic Me group, what type of tea do you like? Prepare for tea, biscuits and some of the most amazing, wild, wild women you’ll ever come across!