24 May 2013: Thirty SHINE students pressed some celebrity flesh at City Hall today when they tried to form a ‘human knot’ with Hollywood stars Will and Jaden Smith, and the Mayor, Boris Johnson.
The students all attend a SHINE in Secondaries project at Rushcroft School in Walthamstow. They were visiting City Hall to take part in an end of term ‘achievement event’ organised by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London.
The event began with half hour workshops in arts and the spoken word. After some music from Kiss FM DJs Ricky and Melvin, the Mayor congratulated them on their achievements this term. He then introduced his big surprise – Will Smith, star of Men in Black, and his son, Jaden, who took the lead in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid.
After a short Q&A session, the Smiths joined hands with the Mayor and some of the SHINE students in an attempt to make a ‘human knot’ (as seen in the film clip below).
Moving swiftly on, the students joined Will, Jaden and Boris in a photocall before taking questions from the press. One SHINE student told journalists: “SHINE is great. We do activities I never had the chance to do at primary school. I also work with people from different form groups who I normally wouldn’t get the chance to meet.”
Boris Johnson said: “It is fantastic for students to meet Will and Jaden Smith, two very inspiring figures, as a reward for all their hard work so far this year.”
SHINE in Secondaries
SHINE in Secondaries helps struggling students overcome the notoriously difficult transition to secondary school. It targets students who left primary school with poor grades. Over the summer holidays, they attend a week-long course to help make new friends and begin developing the personal and study skills that secondary school requires. Once they start, Saturday classes consist of a creative curriculum, booster classes in core subjects and interactive sessions to improve their learning, speaking and social skills.
The programme is funded mostly through grants from the Education Endowment Foundation and the Greater London Authority. It is one of the Mayor of London’s ‘Leadership Clubs’, which offer educational support to 10-14 year olds to improve their attainment, behaviour and self-discipline. The clubs are part of the Mayor’s £40 million Education and Youth Investment programme. Over the next three years, this will help more than 1,000 young people from 40 London schools.