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Pupils get their maths brains in shape at the Numeracy Challenge 2018 Grand Final at Markel

Top scoring maths teams from Tower Hamlets primary schools battled in the Walkie Talkie building on Friday 25th May, to win the final round of Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership’s sixth annual Numeracy Challenge final.

Teams of finalists waited with bated breath as the winners of the Numeracy Challenge 2018 were announced at the end of the Grand Final.

After competing in a two-hour-long maths challenge live at the final, the self-named ‘The Mathsketeers’ team from Thomas Buxton Primary School were announced as the winners, followed by runners up ‘Maths Brains’ from Stewart Headlam Primary.

The final was hosted by insurance company Markel International on Friday at their offices in the famous Walkie Talkie building in the heart of the City.

Out of 36 participating teams from 14 Tower Hamlets schools that entered the competition in March, eight teams were invited to the final.

All the finalists will be rewarded with a trip to Brighton to visit the University of Sussex in June to find out what it’s like to be a student at a top university outside of London and how maths is applied across all disciplines.

A Year 5 from the winning team described the final as the “best day ever”. She enjoyed “working as a team and competing against other people”.

Andrew Green, head of Catastrophe Management at Markel, coached the winning team in his voluntary role as a Number Partner at Thomas Buxton Primary School. He said “They challenge us more than we challenge them so it’s really good fun.”

A Year 6 member of the ‘Maths Brains’ team reflected on the final round: “Some problems were hard and some were easy. There were a mixed variety of problems and you had to use logic.”

Michael McCarthy, the school’s maths coordinator, added: It brings out different skills. Some children would be better at the numerical aspect and some are better at the explanations. They draw on each other’s skills to get the best solution to the problem.”

The Numeracy Challenge is part of our Number Partners programme. The scheme pairs volunteers from the business community with 7-11 year old pupils for half an hour per week to play fun maths games, whilst simultaneously bringing young people into contact with role models from the world of work.

In 1997 only half of children in Tower Hamlets achieved a level four, the minimum expected level in maths, when they left primary school. Twenty years later this trend has reversed. 81% of children in Tower Hamlets now achieve or exceed the expected standard, surpassing the National Average of 75%.

Number Partners gives children individualised support to help children achieve their potential and have the confidence to say ‘I love maths!’

In the Numeracy Challenge, volunteers help pupils to form teams and complete three rounds of stretching maths-related challenges, using problem-solving, logic and teamwork.

David Sawyer, Managing Director at Markel, said: “It’s good to give something back to the local community. It’s good to get the children’s enthusiasm [for] maths. There’s nothing better than working with children, seeing them smiling and getting them learning”.

New Data Protection Policy Published

Tower Hamlets EBP today publishes our updated Data Protection Policy.

The new policy has been refreshed in line with new data protection legislation and outlines how we handle any data shared with or collected by Tower Hamlets EBP.

The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is a piece of EU legislation which will come into UK law on Friday 25th May 2018 with the passing of the Data Protection Bill.

The new legislation gives individuals greater control over what their data is used for, and the right to know what data is held on them.

Individuals also have the right to request a copy of the data held on them, or to request their data be corrected or deleted. Organisations are required to respond within one calendar month.

Tower Hamlets EBP is committed to compliance with the new legislation and is taking steps to ensure we are holding and processing our volunteers, beneficiaries, and partners’ data safely and securely.

Tower Hamlets EBP’s updated policy can be read here.

If you want to get in touch with us about our new policy or anything related to data protection at Tower Hamlets EBP, please contact [email protected]

Students Quiz Local MP in the Houses of Parliament

On the 23rd of April, the semi-finalists and finalists of this year’s Public Speaking Competition, sponsored by the Lloyd’s Community Programme, were treated to a tour of the Houses of Parliament, courtesy of Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse. Jim is a historic supporter of the competition and did a wonderful job of hosting our pupils from Langdon Park, Central Foundation Girls’ School, Morpeth School, Green Spring Academy and Mulberry School for Girls.

The tour began in Westminster Hall, the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate. Pupils loved seeing the nod to the suffragettes in a contemporary light sculpture, who certainly were aspirational figures who spoke passionately about what they believed in. Standing in the House of Lords and the House of Commons was a surreal experience for everyone; learning the protocol for speaking in these rooms was fascinating with some students starting to call each other ‘The right honourable gentleman/woman’…! Public speaking was really brought to life by our tour as we were standing in the shoes of many great politicians.

The group were invited to a Q&A with Jim after the tour. He gave the pupils some excellent employability skills advice, telling them that their image, presentation and confidence to engage others is fundamental in standing out from the crowd. As an MP, Jim has had to project his voice to over 80,000 constituents and respond articulately to their concerns. Any kind of public speaking practice or persuasive techniques taught in schools should be jumped upon as an opportunity by pupils – and that’s exactly what our pupils did! They then quizzed Jim on social housing in Tower Hamlets, parliamentary careers, the effect Brexit will have on young people and how employment is changing. After a quick photo opportunity, our time at the Houses of Parliament came to a close.

A final well done to our pupils and thank you to Jim Fitzpatrick – what a wonderful, aspiration raising day!

Abdul-Basit Ahmed wins 23rd Tower Hamlets Public Speaking Competition

Abdul-Basit Ahmed from Green Spring Academy is the 23rd winner of the Tower Hamlets Public Speaking Competition, the final of which was held at Lloyd’s on Wednesday 28 March 2018. Run in association with Lloyd’s Community Programme (LCP), this year’s competition saw over 250 Year 10 students from all over the borough take part. They could choose to address one of three questions about ‘The World of Work’.

Abdul-Basit triumphed with a thoughtful and well-researched speech answering: ‘What does an ‘automation apocalypse’ mean for young people’s preparation for work?’. His speech highlighted the danger around automation taking everyday jobs away from humans, such as supermarket workers. Summing up his argument, Abdul-Basit used an image showing a robot making a man redundant from his factory work.

Two additional accolades were on offer to contestants:

First is the Ralph Charan Prize, awarded to the student who showed the most promising debating skills. This is decided via a short ad-lib round, where students are given a few minutes to prepare an argument in favour or against a topical news item announced on the spot. Each student then goes head-to-head against a peer arguing the other side of the news item, which this year focused on women’s rights in the workplace. This prize went to Sarah Hussain of Central Foundation Girls School.

Students also battled it out to win the Audience Choice Prize, which is an award decided by a ballot of the audience members at the event, including Lloyd’s market staff who volunteered with local students at workshops in the earlier stages of the competition. This prize went to Maryam-Luul Ali of St Paul’s Way Trust School.

Tower Hamlets EBP would like to say a huge thank you to all the schools and the companies across the Lloyd’s Market that made this year’s Public Speaking Competition possible. Your hard work and dedication paid dividends and the competition has been truly aspirational for all young people who took part.

With thanks to:

Langdon Park
Central Foundation Girls
Sir John Cass
Green Spring Academy
Mulberry School for Girls
St Paul’s Way Trust

Tower Hamlets EBP volunteers and staff run London’s first half marathon, ‘The Big Half’!

On Sunday 4th March, 15,000 runners descended upon the streets of South East London, ready to tackle what was being billed as London’s biggest and best half marathon. A week’s worth of snow and icy weather left many in doubt in the days prior to the event as to whether it would even go ahead – however, the streets were cleared and ready to welcome runners of all ages and ability from across the country.

Over 40 volunteers from a wide range of our partner companies took part on behalf of Tower Hamlets EBP, as well as some of our own very dedicated staff. As a result of all of their hard work, we have raised over £15,000 and counting as many post-race donations and match funding contributions are added to the total.

Helen Sanson, Director of Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, said: “I am so grateful to and proud of all the volunteers who ran the first ever Big Half Marathon to raise funds for our charity. The effort they put in on the day, not to mention the months of training was phenomenal and I know some people posted really good times.

“On behalf of everyone at Tower Hamlets EBP I would like to thank all the individual runners, all their sponsors and all the companies who made additional donations in support of their staff.

“The whole event had an incredible atmosphere and it’s not every day that you can say you ran in a race with Sir Mo Farah – Olympian and World Champion, even if you didn’t manage to keep up!

This event is going to become a hugely popular race and I hope we will see return runners and new runners join team THEBP next year. Thank you all very much and keep running!”

Below are just some of the images captured of our amazing runners!

If you ran the race and have some images you would like to submit for addition to this page, please email them to [email protected] and they will be published on the page.

Tower Hamlets EBP volunteer Annitha Manoharan from Marsh


The team from Chaucer take a moment to pose before battle commences


Tower Hamlets EBP Chairman and Clifford Chance partner Mark Campbell raises a toast to post-marathon success with Michelle Quest of KPMG in Richard the 1st, Greenwich


Tower Hamlets EBP’s Laura Malanaphy celebrates post-marathon glory running the race in a very respectable 2 hours and 16 minutes


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