Raising Aspirations: Laurel Park students meet Mayor of Enfield during Council Chamber visit

Students from Laurel Park School met with the Mayor of Enfield, local councillors and council officers during a visit to the Enfield Council Chamber last week as part of the school’s efforts to broaden students’ horizons and raise aspirations.

Students were given a tour of the Council Chamber to understand more about the role of local government and the impact it has on their community. As part of an interactive session with the Mayor and councillors, students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about civic responsibility, representation and leadership roles in the local area.

The trip formed part of Laurel Park School’s ‘Character Education’ programme which aims to develop the character and integrity of students by providing them with opportunities to gain valuable life skills the empowerment to become active citizens in their community.

Jack, a Year 8 student at Laurel Park who visited the Council Chamber, said:

“We learnt about the duties of the mayor of Enfield, which gave us a real insight into the life of a mayor. We learnt about all the events and responsibilities a mayor has, the history of Enfield and its previous mayors. We got to see the maces and the mayor’s hold chain – it was very cool.”

Suna Hurman, the Mayor of Enfield, said:

“It was a pleasure to meet the students from Laurel Park School and speak to them about the role of the council within Enfield. It is so important to demonstrate the value of engagement with local government to young people to encourage active participation and inspire the next generation of citizens. It’s great to see the dedication of the school to providing these additional opportunities for its students and the efforts to equip them with the skills and abilities to contribute positively to society.”

Other initiatives within the Character Education programme include fortnightly enrichment and volunteering activities within the local community, and arts and culture lessons and workshops to build awareness and understanding of societal issues.

Upon completion of the various enrichment activities, programmes and workshops, students receive AQA Unit Awards. This is used to record learning achievements and demonstrate the skills and knowledge students have developed to support them later in their academic journeys and beyond school.

Adele Christofi, headteacher at Laurel Park School, said:

“At Laurel Park we seek to provide our students with the opportunities to learn about and engage with the world around them to help them develop the skills that will enable them to become confident and proactive citizens beyond school. Our emphasis on character development is essential to our belief that education should prepare young people to contribute positively to the world around them and succeed in every aspect of their lives.

“Trips like these expose our students to new career paths that they may not have previously considered whilst helping them understand more about their own community. It is essential to provide students with wide-ranging and varied opportunities to learn new skills and raise aspirations that go beyond academic achievement.”

Laurel Park School’s vision is to develop well-rounded students who have the ambition and determination to excel in life. To achieve this, it champions its core values of Integrity, Excellence, Ambition and Determination across all school activities with the ‘Character Education’ programme underpinning the school’s commitment to instilling these values within its students.

To bolster these efforts for both academic and personal development, the school is also a member of Enterprise Cooperative Trust – a not-for-profit foundation co-operative based in Enfield, offering all children in Enfield with opportunities and skills to set them up for lifelong success.