At Queen’s Gate, we have a varied programme of community outreach and partnership projects which provide real benefits for everybody involved. All students in Lower Sixth are taken off timetable on Friday afternoons in order to provide them with the time to contribute to our local community.
Examples of our outreach programme include our close and long-standing partnership with Kensington and Chelsea Age UK which sees guests arrive at school on a Friday afternoon to enjoy a hot lunch with some of our Lower Sixth students. Several of our guests have been attending this lunch for more than a decade and it is an important way to encourage intergenerational conversation – it is also a lot of fun for everyone involved! We then support Age UK with additional activities on a Friday afternoon including, but not limited to, hosting Bingo games, playing walking football, offering language lessons, and planning for special events.
We also support the work of the Trussell Trust through our Food Bank Friday initiative where our Sixth Formers organise a weekly collection of non-perishable items from pupils, parents and staff in both the Junior and Senior Schools. They deliver these to the local food bank and help to organise emergency food parcels for people in crisis. In December 2022, we also launched a new initiative in which digital Christmas cards, rather than physical ones, were sent out to members of our community; the money saved by this process was then used to provide a very generous Christmas donation, full of festive treats, to our local food bank.
A recent partnership is a reading project with local state primary schools. During the term of this partnership, Lower Sixth pupils from Queen’s Gate visited Churchill Gardens and Pimlico Academy every Friday to hear children read on a one-to-one basis. We also donated generously to provide a range of new books for the school libraries. A particular emphasis during the reading sessions was placed on improving the skill of reading for meaning and pleasure, and this was an area where our girls have made a major contribution and a huge impact. It is one of our most popular outreach choices and all students involved finish the programme with lasting memories.
Other projects with the local and wider community include volunteering at local charity shops for Oxfam and Royal Trinity Hospice, QG Super Saturdays where children aged 2-5 years old and their families join us for interactive workshops, and fundraising for the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation.
Queen’s Gate students and their families are incredibly generous and there is always a great demand to launch charitable endeavours. Students are encouraged to fill out a charity proposal form explaining their choice of charity and how they intend to raise funds; this helps our students to understand the meaning and importance of helping others and generates goodwill amongst the entire community. Recent examples of money-raising initiatives include jeans days, bake sales, staff and pupil dance-offs, movie nights, and wearing a particular colour to show support for a charity.
We also respond to extraordinary events in order to help raise funds and/or awareness when required. For example, we immediately launched a fundraiser to support the victims of floods in Pakistan and earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Another example includes our fundraising event to commemorate the coronation of King Charles III: Queen’s Gate students were asked to design a ‘crown’ and the winning entries were then placed on a commemorative mug. These beautifully designed and bespoke mugs were then sold to members of our community and all profits were given to a local charity: The Angelou Partnership This charity reflects the humanitarian interests of Queen Camilla who champions the welfare of girls and women across the globe.
Supporting charity is a tradition that all members of the school are incredibly proud of, and one which we will continue to place at the forefront of our ethos.