140 young people fromTottenham schools graduated from the ‘Tottenham University’ in early July 2019.

Tottenham University is the name of the fun series of cultural events involving 20 Year 4 and 5 pupils from seven Tottenham primary schools; Lancasterian Primary School, St Paul's and All Hallows Junior School, Risley Avenue Primary School, Devonshire Hill Primary School, Brook House Primary School, Lea Valley Primary School, St Francis de Sales Catholic Infant and Junior School.

Over a number of months, the pupils hear from a variety of inspiring speakers and go on trips to places including the Houses of Parliament and Oxford University.

Dr James Lane_Dalwardin Babu and school pupils

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting celebrity cricketers and basketball sportsmen and it’s changed the way I think about myself,” said Natalie, aged 10, from Lancasterian Primary School. “After I met these people I realised I can be whoever I want to be and I feel very lucky having these opportunities.”

The idea behind the Tottenham University came from Dalwardin Babu, community development officer at St Francis de Sales Primary School and the school’s headteacher, Dr James Lane.

“This year we’ve been lucky enough to have various sportsmen and people like Bruce Kent, the anti-nuclear campaigner visit us,” said James. “We’ve also taken students to the theatre and historic buildings so we’ve put in front of the children a range of experiences and role models that they might not have had access to in their normal daily life. And everyone whom the children meet we prime to say, ‘To get where I am now – these are the things I have to do…’ so they will inspire the children to work hard and make them ambitious enough to go to university later in life.”

“I loved meeting the cricketers, Dillion Pennington and Ethan Bamber, who play for England’s under 19 cricket team,” said Jeremiah, aged 8, from St Francis de Sales. “I learnt that they became successful by working hard and having great commitment and that inspires me. I love Tottenham University because you learn new things.”