International Pupil Council
In 2010, Stepney Primary started some global partnership work with a school in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.
Francis Mason is one of the head teachers from Freetown, Sierra Leone. It was on his initial visit to Stepney, that he noticed the school noticeboards dedicated to our pupils' involvement in the Stepney and Wyke Pupil Councils, as well as the Hull Youth Parliament. He commented that children in Freetown do not have a 'voice'. When Mr Browning visited him in Freetown in March 2010, he saw that this was indeed true. Both heads decided to set up an International Pupil Council. One group would meet in Hull: this was made up of pupils from all the schools involved in the Global Partnership. Its fellow council would meet in Freetown. The inaugural meeting of the Hull IPC was opened by Mr Browning on the 12th October 2010, followed by the first meeting in Freetown on the 29th October 2010. The 'IPC' is still going strong and meeting on a regular basis in both countries.
In addition to our meetings, we also have special events, such as fashion contests in both countries, visits from VIPS such as the Lord Mayor and our Anglo-African football tournament. Hull and Freetown are in the same time zone so we can run projects and events concurrently in both cities. In the summer, we choose a time and a day and have football tournaments on two continents. All the schools that are part of the IPC and the global partnerships work between the two cities take part in this prestigious competition. Everyone feels it is amazing.
It is not just about having a fun time though. The IPC tackles some very serious issues. The UN Sustainable Development Goals have formed the basis and backdrop for our work over the last few years. We are focussed on making the world and the global community a much better, cleaner and less polluted place. Children on the IPC have been interviewed on local radio and TV programmes, highlighting many of the topics that they are passionate about.
At Stepney we are now working with our second school, Adeline Nursery & Preparatory School, having begun in 2010 with the International Cooperative Preparatory School (ICOPS). Apart from an interruption, caused by the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, we have maintained our links, sending staff out to the African country. Mr Browning went out in 2010, followed by Mr Burton and Mrs Warcup the year after. Miss Baitson and Mrs Warcup visited Adeline in 2018, establishing firm links and great friendships. In 2019, Miss Baitson returned again and Eileen Graham, head of Adelne, visited Stepney.
Please see our News & Letters Pages to catch up on the work of our IPC members and our work with Sierra Leone, as well as all the other many activities we get up to at Stepney. We publish posts on our Daily Diary pages and Tweet photos and articles on our twitter page @OfficialStepney.
Our IPC is fundamentally about empowering children in the UK and Sierra Leone and giving them a voice that is loud and strong and heard across the World.