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Two Great November Competitions and what we are doing at WCU

Westminster Windows art competition

Submissions for Westminster Windows art competition at Christmas in Leicester Square – submit by 12 November


Westminster schools, Year 1 – Year 8, and special schools are invited to run an internal competition for their pupils to design a Winter Widow that reflects the connections made and kindness received and/or given during the pandemic. Entries are also encouraged to be a response to Global Climate Change, so where possible, please be creative and use upcycled materials. Each school can then select up to five entries for submission to the Winter Windows competition. Successful designs will be selected and enlarged to A0, framed and rear lit and displayed on the north side of Leicester Square in a free exhibition.


This year, entrants are asked to illustrate the theme of a ‘Connection and Kindness’.

•             What do connections look like to you, how do you make them and how did they make you feel?

•             What acts of kindness did you experience during the COVID-19 lockdown?

•             Did you go that extra mile and make a connection by being kind? How does being kind and making connections look and feel?

•             What colour and patterns do these feelings make you think of?


Westminster Winter Windows provides schools with a project to base art classes on and children an exciting opportunity to see their work publicly exhibited.


Project guidelines


•             Please email to note your interest, further information will be sent to you on receipt of your email

•             One or more classes can apply per school

•             We suggest this is offered to Year 1 – Year 8

•             Please submit all entries by no later than 12 November 2021

•             All designs should be submitted on A4 or A3 paper, portrait orientation so that they can be scanned and sent to us

•             Please used upcycled materials wherever possible (ie.using scraps and left-over materials to create a collage. Pen, pencil, crayon or paint collages may also be used, but please avoid using metallic )

•             If you have more than 5 Winter Window designs from your school, please run a heat to select up to 5 window designs for submission

•             We can only accept portrait orientated applications

•             This year we can only accept entries in a digital format. Please scan your entries or send high resolution images of 100-150dpi at actual size and email

•             Please scan each entry individually and save with the pupil’s name, age and the name of your school

•             Successful designs will be selected and informed on 14/15 November

•             Windows will be available for schools or parents to collect post event.


The event is run by Underbelly in partnership with Westminster City Council. For any queries, please contact Ruth Fisher, Event Producer at Underbelly on the details below:

Tel: 020 7307 8480




WCC’s Climate Action Classrooms competition by 19th November for the chance to win exciting prizes

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently underway in Glasgow (COP 26), everyone will be thinking about how they can play their part to help to tackle climate change.

The Climate Action Classrooms’ competition aims to help Westminster schools embed the climate emergency into their curriculum, engaging students on the impacts of climate change, fostering action and long-term climate-friendly behaviours.

The Climate Action Classrooms competition gives schools and young people the chance to showcase how they’re taking action and helping to spread awareness of the climate emergency.

There’s also the chance to win fantastic to trip to either the London Zoo or the Sea Life London Aquarium!

The competition is open until 19th November for pupils in Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11).

There are two categories - classroom action for entries by a class and pupil action for entries by an individual pupil.

Visit the website Climate Action Classrooms competition | Westminster City Council for full details of how to enter, prizes and terms and conditions.


Please share this with your geography and science teachers and encourage them to enter the competition.

If your school is taking part, please let our Climate Emergency Team know by contacting

Where possible, Cllr Robathan Leader of Westminster City Council, would welcome the chance to meet with you and your students to raise awareness about the climate emergency. Please do contact the Climate Emergency Team by 5th November, if it would be possible to arrange a visit.

We hope that the competition will be the start of continued engagement between WCC and Westminster schools on climate education, opening up opportunities for further curriculum support and climate action in the future.

Climate Change Awareness and Community Clear Up project

Westminster children’s University is an aspirational and extracurricular project created in response to the desire to provide free aspirational and educational opportunities for the young people of London. The project seeks to engage young people in activities that will help them transition from primary to secondary school and then maintain the positive trend in transitioning to further education and adult life. Our intention was to create a Multi-Disciplinary Project which would promote inclusion by including Auditory, Kinaesthetic and Visual elements to the overall project.

Sculpture, recycling and awareness

As part of our Climate Change Awareness and Community Clear Up project, year 5 visited the three recycled lions at Wembley Stadium last Friday. Faith Bebbington used waste cardboard, plastic cups and broken plastic seats from the venue in Wembley to create the two new pieces of art, which complement the existing recycle stainless steel lion made by artist Michael Turner currently guarding the ground. Ms Bebbington said: “I was delighted to be commissioned by the FA Group to create two lions for Wembley; partly as the stadium is such an iconic site and because I prefer my artwork to be accessible to the majority of people - rather than just art gallery goers. 

Due to the kindness of one of our partners at Paddington Central Cognizant and the football Association we were able to bring the entire year group to the stadium on a stadium tour where they were able to visit the amazing beasts in person we feel that engaging children in artistic and creative endeavours is a great way for them to further explore the themes and topics which are most important such as in this case, climate control and what we can do about it.

Part of the beasts' internal structure is made from willow, used to create the curved shapes, and the rest from reclaimed wood collected by the artist. The standing lion has cardboard ‘fur’ while the sitting lion has 'fur' made of broken red plastic stadium seats, used plastic beer bottles, wooden knives, straws, cardboard food wrappers and used paper cups. Fishing line, parcel tape, and hot glue were used to stitch and stick the fur together, and the animal's eyes were made from eco laundry balls. Our friends at Veolia ,who we will be doing a community clear up with on the 18th, helped out too, All the waste was carefully hand-washed by the Veolia contract manager for Wembley Stadium before being delivered to Ms Bebbington. This was another element of the Lions sculpture which anchored their relevance to our awareness project and the over theme of the action we wish to take.

Creativity and sharing a message

There are a variety of ways to communicate with your audience, but one of the most beneficial is by using posters and visuals that can clearly display your message. When used correctly, these can catch the eyes of people and make them aware of an issue, product or service that they wouldn’t otherwise have known about. This powerful ability to stick in people’s minds can have huge advantages for any group looking to create awareness. As a year group we explored the key themes we wanted to raise awareness of and as a class designed Climate Action posters and planned a community event to further illustrate visually a need for change.

One of the key themes we have been focussing on is, how we can personally and as a group make difference to avoid further climate change? The posters and action the children have planned and produced use the key elements of successful poster making and are intend to communicate clearly which aspects of the theme spoke most to them. We then put these posters up around our school and made them publicly available on our website for maximum exposure. We then communicated with our partner schools to engage them in designing their own posters too as well as the next step in the planned project and promoted exploration of and engagement with the topic.

 As an educational charity ourselves, we are invested in the enrichment of offer for and promotion of Volunteering and social action within younger cohorts; we are dedicated to offering a wider spectrum of learning experiences for the young people of Westminster. In the last year alone, we provided and 111,000 hours of extracurricular activity for the children of our partner schools. This means a target audience of at least 1600 students. We felt that this wider platform was a perfect way for the students to safely and confidently spread their message and recruit the further engagement of peers.

Repurposing food

Based on our own experiences through lockdown, we are aware that there is a high percentage of socio-economic need in our ward (in fact we are within the top 4% nationally for socio-economic challenge). Throughout lockdown we were able to create a network of volunteers and stakeholders who work together, through us, to collect and re-purpose wastage food .We did this by working closely with Fare share and Food Drop; as well as using the online platforms Neighbourly and Olio facilitate wider sharing and enable a diverse resource network.

Through the hard work of our volunteers, we have been able to re-purpose 70 tons of wastage food through food drop alone. Our work with neighbourly has had a similar outcome, 41.4k meals shared and a further 176k of water saved through Olio. We are currently continuing our relationship with Neighbourly and Marks & Spencer and continue to redistribute waste food (preventing it going from the shop to landfill and seeing repurposed); answering local food needs, as communicated to us in our locality.

 Our year 5 have regularly been helping to unload and build weekly food parcels for our school and local community. This element of the overall project was inspired by the work initiated through the Mayor’s Fuel for schools project back in 2018 and we have continued to feed 20 families weekly through our own school food parcels (which we continue to deliver to the present day).

We are aware of the negative stigma wrongly attached to accessing what is sometimes considered free food through projects such as ours. We, as does the fuel for school project, believe in educating young people early in the environmental impact and benefit of repurposed seeing Food which will otherwise go to waste it is vital that our young people understand the wrong created by the processing of waste food and the waste itself. By looking at and taking part in repurposing this food for the prevention of these negative outcomes we are able to reduce the stigma felt in accessing such resources. This is particularly important as we are aware that there is a great need for additional services and food as we have seen through direct requests and signposting that has come to us for food support through the recent crisis. We believe that by actively taking measures to reduce this as a community we can make a positive difference to the amount of waste that occurs locally and we can encourage sustainable behaviour changes in the future.

 Furthermore, we believe that by using educational experiences we can help our young people value and understand their immediate environment more fully and in a far wider, holistic manner; by doing this, we propose that we will be able to promote sustainable and purposeful behaviours as our young people mature. We feel that influencing behaviours within waste, food and the environment at a young age is a vital way to create a sustainable change for the benefit of everyone’s future and environmental benefit.

We have also been working with Joseph Dunston to distribute warm meals after school as part of our community action and year 5 have been actively engaged in this too ,handing out portions and creating interest each Thursday, after school. Our project, just as others do, will go some way to educating and relieving the recent burdens on our local families, creating education and support opportunities across the spectrum of participants through distribution and collection of resources, education and outreach through the collaboration of stakeholders and community cohesive approaches to delivery.

Community Led Social Action and Partnership

This November 18th we will be working with Millie Kent of the Climate Action Coalition to conduct a community based litter pick in collaboration with Queen’s Park Community Council. Millie Kent and Volunteers from Veolia will visit all of our local venues with our students on a giant litter pick .By sharing our project so far we will also be joined by Eco Committee students Essendine, St Mary of the Angels and St Peters Schools. The students will create poetry on the day as they reflect, to later be set to music and shared at Paddington Central by our choir in December. This will create a full day of community action with each year group and Sub-Committee taking direct social action on litter, pollution and Climate change.

We will collect the rubbish in a central public location to generate community awareness of littering and waste and to further influence more positive future behaviours by raising awareness through visual means as was intended by the three lions sculpture. We will record and share the day’s activities as well as gathering feedback which we will also upload to our main site. Our intention is for this project to be repeated yearly and be student led, to generate larger and more diverse actions.

All photos and Comms to be found at :