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Giving our students opportunities to contribute to society and work with partners across other schools and organisations is a vital part of an education at Wimbledon High School. Explore our specific partnerships in Sixth Form below. Many act as mentors in our Senior School initiatives with primary schools.
Partnership with HMP Downview
In the past academic year, we launched an exciting partnership with HMP Downview. In Autumn 2021, Governor Wilson from Downview Prison and Officer Katie came for an inspiring question and answer session with Sixth Form students in their PSHE session.
They shared stories of how they gained careers in the criminal justice system, their day-to-day duties, the relationship they have with the women in prison, and the many struggles their staff and inmates had to overcome during Covid. One of the students asked how the women are prepared for life after their sentences, and Governor Wilson explained the number of ways they help, from checking on an individual's mental and physical health to preparing accommodation and employment. It was an illuminating session, shining a light on a world most of us only ever see dramatised on TV or on film.
The Governor said it was the first time she’d been invited into a school to speak to students.
In the Spring, students in Year 8 and 9 were joined by Clare Canavan, the librarian at HMP Downview Prison. Clare led an inspiring talk on her daily life as a prison librarian. She also explained the work they do behind bars to help inmates with their literacy skills, "...about 11% of our prisoners can't read. So we run a project to help those who can't read, such as having book groups, and we run a 6-book challenge where inmates can win a dictionary. Dictionaries in prison are like gold dust!"
Ms Toffoli, WHS Librarian said: "Clare and I are going to work together more, and the plan is to have her back to meet our book club members and extend her talk to other year groups. I am also to visit the ladies at HMP Downview and hear about their library experience and discuss everything book related."
As one of our students commented: ‘I have gained an interest in the criminal justice system and how women are treated within it’