Munira recently visited the Richmond upon Thames School, meeting with Headteacher Kelly Dooley, staff and students.

The school is fairly new, having only opened in 2017. It has grown significantly since then and will reach its full capacity next year. Munira was particularly impressed with the wonderful facilities on offer, including the superb auditorium, drama studio and extensive science labs.

Munira had the opportunity to address the students, speaking to them about topics related to leadership. Several of the students in attendance were standing for positions of responsibility and were therefore keen to learn some tips on how to speak in public and win elections. When asked which leaders she personally admired, Munira said the following:

“Going beyond the realm of politics, I think that Gareth Southgate has been a particularly effective leader during his time managing the England football team. He’s always placed empathy and empowerment at the heart of his leadership and has spent a great deal of time building positive relationships with his players. His open letter “Dear England” spoke of equality and the impact his players could have on wider society.

“Greta Thunberg is someone else I greatly admire. She showed how you don’t always need to hold a position of power to be a leader. Greta is well and truly fearless, and shows that age is not a barrier if you have the passion and drive to make a difference.”

Munira also had the chance to watch part of the school’s annual sports day. The event initially faced some uncertainty due to key teachers having to self-isolate. After a call for help, Richmond Rugby Club stepped in to save the day. Volunteers from the club came down to the school to assist the teachers and students, and ensured the sports day could take place.

In the drama studio Munira watched students rehearsing their set pieces:

“I loved drama and performance when I was at school so it was wonderful to see the talent and enthusiasm of these young people. I am pleased theatres have started to re-open, I am sure that many can agree we are desperately in need of some joyous entertainment.”

“I love when I see innovative and creative teaching. A great example of that was the joint art and science lesson I was invited to. The students were creating posters out of stylised images of microorganisms. Topical, informative and beautiful.”