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For further and deeper consideration and actions, Paddington Rotary Club organised events that impact our six areas of focus including peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Along with the Westminster Academy Interact Club, we organised a Peace Seminar in September 2019 and a Peace Pole was unveilled.

We are hoping to create another local Peace initiative for 2020...

peace pole.jpg
Peace Project: What We Do
Peace Project: Testimonials

Dr Saima Rana
Principal Westminster Academy

Westminster Academy would like to sincerely thank you and your fellow Paddington Rotarians for your continued generosity and support. Our relationship with Paddington Rotary is something we value dearly. It is a relationship which encompasses our whole Academy community; from our youngest YR7 students to the Sixth Form students who participate in the Interact Club, founded in 2008. And indeed, it is a relationship which we look forward to continuing and deepening in the future. Perhaps the best thing about the support that Paddington Rotary has given Westminster Academy over the past decade is that as the size of our YR7 cohort has grown, your Club has unflinchingly grown in its generosity. This year, for instance, we presented dictionaries to a record 228 YR7 students. It is heartwarming to have that level of support, and something which I am personally very grateful for.

In our Internet Age, presenting every YR7 with a physical illustrated dictionary is a statement. It asserts our determination to excel in traditional academic education alongside the modern disciplines. It asserts our belief that real books have a special something that LED screens just can’t quite manage. Moreover, the presentation ceremony itself is always such a lovely occasion. The youngest students in our Academy are made to feel welcome; made to feel valued as individuals with great potential. But the value in the dictionaries is not confined to the symbolic or ceremonial. Students use their dictionaries for years after receiving them. Wiaam Ahmed, now an Interact Club member in YR13, recalled how useful it was to have at home and in school. She said, ‘​I remember treasuring it because to me it was something special - a gift of literacy - and so I took advantage of it and used it for my homework and during lessons.’ While, as I’m sure you can attest, the sense of excitement among this year’s YR7 students was palpable. 

In terms of impact, then, the illustrated dictionaries have an important dual function in our Academy. They are the centrepiece of a ceremony designed to make every YR7 student feel valued and they are a highly useful resource for homework and classwork. They are both a practical and aspirational gift. As such, after a successful decade of donating illustrated dictionaries and running our Interact Club, I hope this letter has managed to convey our sense of gratitude for all Paddington Rotary’s effort and generosity. 

Yours sincerely,

Dr Saima Rana

Principal Westminster Academy

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