From basketball star to debating champion: Haringey high achievers set for Jack Petchey awards

PUBLISHED: 09:39 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:39 14 June 2017

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Andreas Vella, who teaches at Heartlands High School.

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Andreas Vella, who teaches at Heartlands High School.


A basketball superstar, champion of debating and teenage interpreter are just some of the characters being rewarded for achieving great things in Haringey this year.

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Esra Ali Hasan, who goes to St Thomas More School.Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Esra Ali Hasan, who goes to St Thomas More School.

On Tuesday, June 20 the Jack Petchey Foundation – which has donated more than £1million to schools and youth clubs across the borough since 2000 – will be holding its annual achievement awards ceremony at the Bernie Grants Arts Centre.

Students and teachers alike are picked out for making an impression at school and in their community, something that St Thomas More School student Esra Ali Hasan can certainly claim to have achieved with her work as a ‘young interpreter’.

After joining the school just over a year ago knowing little English, she has very quickly become an invaluable asset.

From the moment new English as an Additional Language (EAL) students joined, Esra has supported them linguistically, emotionally and practically whenever she can.

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Sunzida Khan, who goes to Park View School.Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Sunzida Khan, who goes to Park View School.

Rufus Ajayi, the foundation’s co-ordinator at the school, said “Esra is one of the most caring people I have ever had the privilege to meet. She is a true inspiration and embodies all the values the school promotes at the greatest degree.”

Pupils winning the awards will be awarded £250 to spend on anything of their choice, with Esra opting to take her fellow EAL peers to see a Shakespearean production.

Over at Fortismere School it is a double celebration after students William Krish and Anna Horrocks both bagged achievement awards.

William has excelled in his role as the Muswell Hill school’s deputy head boy, which has seen him take the time to gather the views of students “in a diplomatic and effective way.”

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Rosamond Rahman, who teaches at Woodside High School.Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Rosamond Rahman, who teaches at Woodside High School.

The 15-year-old’s most notable contribution has been his leadership of the Year 7 lunchtime room, which provides a social space for students who are struggling to socialise as part of their transition to secondary school.

Highlighting his passion in this area, he will also be spending his grant on new games and resources for lunchtime room.

Anna is hoping to study medicine at university but rather than just looking after her own interests, she has thrown herself into her charity work for global humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres which delivers disaster response aid to those in need.

The 18-year-old is also setting up a group called the ‘aspiring medics society’ for younger students who are considering a career in medicine, and she is going put the £250 towards this resource.

Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Cliona McKenna, who teaches at Gladesmore Community School. Jack Petchey Achievement Award winner Cliona McKenna, who teaches at Gladesmore Community School.

Recognised in the leadership category, Woodside High School teacher Rosamond Rahman has been lauded for her commitment to improving her students’ debating skills.

Ms Rahman – who leads the debating society – has spent hours preparing with students and taking them to debating competitions. Last year they progressed to the final of the ESU London Debate Challenge and were crowned the debating champions of North London.

The school’s foundation co-ordinator Gerry Robinson said: “Debating has gone from strength to strength due to Rosamond’s passion, enthusiasm and tireless commitment. Students have grown in confidence and are becoming increasingly articulate.”

Heartlands High School’s basketball team are set for a new kit after star player Andreas Vella decided to put his £250 towards the cause.

"Esra is one of the most caring people I have ever had the privilege to meet. She is a true inspiration and embodies all the values the school promotes at the greatest degree"

Rufus Ajayi

The 15-year-old, described as “an inspirational leader to the younger students who look up to him and his achievements”, is currently plying his trade at the Haringey Hawks on top of his school sport commitments.

Alexandra Park School student Susanna De Sena has been awarded for her work on a science initiative, in which she goes into primary schools to teach science.

On top of this, the 16-year-old – who will be spending her grant on a chick hatching programme for the school – is giving up one of her free periods each week to volunteer in a Year 7 science lessons to assist the pupils.

Also selflessly supporting her fellow students is Sunzida Khan of Park View School, who has dedicated herself to improving mental health within the school.

The 16-year-old was an advocate at the launch of the Haringey ‘choices’ project, a service which offers support to young people across the borough.

Cliona McKenna, described by Gladesmore Community School as “bright, bubbly and always smiling”, has also won a leadership award in recognition of her support to staff and students alike.

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