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An Afternoon of Amazing Community Spirit For Haringey Sixth Form College

Pictured from left to right - Councillor Sheila Peacock (Haringey Council), Russ Lawrance (Haringey Sixth Form College Principal & CEO), Joran Dowden (UAL Art Level 3 student at Haringey Sixth Form College) Linda Sarr (Headteacher at Risley Avenue Primary School), Rashailah O'Connor (Student at Risley Avenue Primary School)

Yesterday, Haringey Sixth Form College had the pleasure of attending Risley Avenue Primary School for their amazing ‘Live Your Best Life’ ceremony, which was an afternoon dedicated to commemorating Stephen Lawrence.

The theme for the event tied in line with the school’s top 10 values of ‘Respect, Aspiration, Perseverance, Teamwork, Love, Democracy, The rule of law, Courage, Honesty, Tolerance and beliefs’ and definitely projected Haringey Sixth Form College’s ethos of ‘Aiming for excellence in everything we do.’

The short programme of events included an inspirational piano recital by Ja-Vay Cox-Morgan (a student at Risley Avenue Primary School), amazing singing and acting by students of Risley’s Drama and Choir Club, fabulous poetry by many of the students and a performance by the Risley Adult Choir. The afternoon concluded with the unveiling of a sculpture in the school’s wonderfully maintained garden.

In November 2018, Risley Avenue Primary School ran a competition to design a sculpture/memorial for the late Stephen Lawrence. They needed an artist to interpret the winning design by Rashailah O’Connor (a student at Riseley Avenue Primary School) and produce a sculpture for their garden. Jordan (UAL Art and Design Level 3 Extended Diploma student at Haringey Sixth Form College) volunteered to design and create the sculpture with support from Francis Ives (Teacher of Art at Haringey Sixth Form College) and Dan Want (Art Technician at Haringey Sixth Form College).

This process was instrumental in Jordan’s decision to further his studies and apply for an undergraduate degree in Art.

Haringey Council’s Northumberland Park ward, Councillor Sheila Peacock and Haringey Sixth Form College’s Principal & CEO, Russ Lawrance did the honours of unveiling the sculpture alongside Rashailah and Jordan.

“Stephen was a successful pupil, like me and was trying to achieve his dreams.” – Rashailah

Jordan said “I am passionate about social justice and equality and I believe that through individual change we can build a better world. I hope that my contribution to this project will encourage other young people from our community to express themselves through art.”

The vibe projected from the students at Risley was nothing short of positive and inspirational and as mentioned by Councillor Sheila Peacock, “It’s a glorious day because we are remembering him with pride, respect and love. I am really pleased that you have done this for him.”

Russ Lawrance, Haringey Sixth Form College’s Principal & CEO added – “As Principal & CEO of Haringey Sixth Form College and a true believer in engaging communities, this project has not fallen short of exceeding my expectations of inspiring people to bridge the gap between inequality. A massive well done to Risley Avenue Primary School for promoting their school’s values at such a wonderful ceremony.”

Maryanne Josephs, Deputy Headteacher at Risley Avenue Primary School said “All of us here at Risley are committed to our pupils and hope the opportunities we afford them will help them to make their way in the world when they leave us. I’m so happy to know that this joint project has developed Jordan’s confidence – it’s truly overwhelming to know we’ve made a difference to him and he’s going onto university. We’d love to keep in touch with him and see how he gets on as I think his story can inspire our pupils.”

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Sculpture – Designed and Created by Jordan Dowden, inspired by Rashailah O’Connor’s winning drawing

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