‘The Challenge’ Champion School! Commitment to community recognised

QE has been awarded Champion School status for encouraging its Year 11 boys to take part in a national citizenship initiative.

The National Citizen Service (NCS), which presented the School with a plaque in recognition of its new status, is a Government-backed youth citizenship programme. It is one of the lead organisations in promoting The Challenge, a charity which brings together young people from different communities, giving them opportunities to build work and life skills by tackling projects together.

Increasing numbers of QE boys have been taking part in The Challenge each year. It requires a high level of commitment, entailing a three-week programme during the summer holidays and three weekends in the autumn.

In addition to activities which challenge the individual participants physically whilst developing teamwork qualities, a key component is action in the local community. QE boys have undertaken a number of tasks, including working in local allotments, visiting a care home and fund-raising for a hospice. The Challenge thus dovetails with QE’s ethos of sending out young men committed to serving their communities.

""Representatives of The Challenge attended QE’s Careers Convention this autumn. “The students were very appreciative of the time they spent with us; it is so important that our students make the most of all the opportunities available to them,” said Sarah Westcott, Head of Pupil Progression.

“As a result, two of our boys signed up for training as ambassadors: Valavan Ananthakumaraswamy and Jaysal Patel, from Year 12, will now take an active role in assisting me to push The Challenge programme, not only to Year 11 boys at QE but also more widely across London,” added Dr Westcott.

This will include writing testimonials and giving presentations to other students both at QE and in other schools, raising awareness of the benefits of The Challenge.