Model UN

The Model United Nations conference took place on 16th and 17th December at the International Maritime Organisation in Lambeth, which offers students the chance to experience a real diplomatic environment. MUN offers students the chance to play the roles of ambassadors of the UN’s member states in simulations of United Nations committees. The theme of this conference was ‘The Elimination of Poverty: Freedom and Fairness for All’, and committees explored the issue of poverty in relation to health, women, children, the environment, human rights and debt. Mulberry School is proud to be part of the international Global Classrooms network, coordinated by the United Nations Association of the USA. Mulberry is the lead school for Global Classrooms in the UK. We offer a Model United Nations programme to students from inner London state schools. Over 400 students attended our December conference from thirty-five schools, including international students from Japan and Lebanon. In feedback, 95% of participants agreed with the statement, “MUN has helped me learn about important global issues”, 90% of participants agreed that “MUN inspires young people to achieve at a higher level” and 88% agreed that “MUN has meant I know how to present myself in a formal setting”. We provided training to new schools participating in the conference this year. This (and the training held at Mulberry) is run by Global Classrooms: London alumni. We also held an international social evening for students visiting from abroad on Friday 13th December to welcome them to the UK.

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!