Aspire Week 2020

The Swanlea School values, of Respect, Aspire and Achieve are reflected through a wide-range of activities for students. This includes one week, which is dedicated to cultivating aspirations and informing students about future opportunities within the world of work and education.

Aspire Week 2020 began on the 3rd February and students engaged in a series of events, which promoted the future prospects that they can start to prepare for now. Assemblies took place every day during Aspire week, from 8.45am – 9am led by inspirational guest speakers, including former students who delivered presentations to encourage and inform students about what they can aspire to be in the future.


Monday 3rd February 2020

Our first guest speaker was an Oxford graduate and former Swanlea student. Iftikhar Latif, addressed the topic of 6th Form V University. He provided students with practical advice about what they can expect at university and what they should consider when applying for university places.

Parents attended an informative meeting about the process of securing top university places for their children, on 3rd February 2020. The event, called ’Starting the UCAS process – Getting your child into a top university’ took place after school.

Parents’ of sixth formers viewed a range of presentations to gain awareness of the steps that can be followed to secure places at universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Kings College, Queen Mary’s and others, where recent sixth formers have progressed.

See the presentations below:

Tuesday 4th February 2020

Our second guest speaker was a University College London graduate, who works for Save the Children. Milca Agbenou spoke to year 7 and 8 students about being ‘as successful as a woodpecker or a butterfly’. She encouraged them to explore their ambitions in different ways and to work hard in order to achieve them.

Wednesday 5th February 2020

Our third guest speaker was a UCL graduate, who works as a Barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Hauwa Shehu spoke to year 9 students about her own career path and the challenges she has faced. Hauwa is also Chair of the CPS Muslim Network. She encourages students to “never give up on their ambitions”.

Thursday 6th February 2020

Our fourth guest speaker was Head of Analysis for the British Transport Police. Vanita Patel spoke to year 10 students about the wide variety of roles within the police force. She described the decisions she has made concerning her own career and encouraged students, by saying “Always follow your heart and try to find something that you’re really passionate about”.

A number of employers, educational institutes and successful organisations participated in Aspire Week. Both students and parents attended a Careers Fair on Thursday 6th February from 10 am-4 pm. Students spoke with representatives from various establishments, ranging from leading universities to international brands, including Visa and The Bank of America.

Friday 7th February 2020

Our fifth guest speaker wass Head of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Helen Chang spoke to year 11 students about her school years and how she started her career. She encouraged our students to set goals for themselves and to work towards their dreams. She also conveyed the message that students should be prepared to ‘struggle today in order to gain strength tomorrow’.

Girls in year nine visited the Bank of England to gain an insight into the financial sector. This gave them chance to find out about opportunities for women to succeed within the financial industry.