On June 15 2016, Princess Beatrice was at school 21 with Karl Lokko and Holly Branson for Big change – a foundation which Princess Beatrice, Holly Branson Founded and Karl Lokko supports. The trio gave a session about speaking and expressing yourself
Princess Beatrice urges young to speak up for themselves.
School21 is not in one of the capital’s wealthier areas.But Princess Beatrice says the idea of learning such life skills is important for anyone growing up, regardless of their background. And everyone has had their own inner struggle with trying to communicate.
“For me, school was a nightmare, I struggled,” she said, speaking after a workshop with a class of 11- and 12-year-olds.
Dyslexia was her big barrier.
“My earliest memory is trying to read Beatrix Potter and the words were literally jumping off the page,” she said.
And “exams were terrifying”, despite the support of her teachers.
Princess Beatrice said it had only been when she had gone to secondary school and could take part in other events, such as with the public speaking team, that she had felt able to do well.
She said projects such as that at School 21 were about developing a type of education that was “not just about learning for a test, it is learning for your life.
There have been many recent concerns about the wellbeing of young people and worries about increasing problems with mental health.
Princess Beatrice. said: “It’s a really important thing to tackle.
“We can do something that focuses on the symptoms of stress – but it’s better to get to the root causes.
“What is this extra pressure? Why do we have young people leaving school not equipped for life? How are we letting them down?
“We live in a world where everything is moving at such a fast pace.
“You have to find an identity that’s true to yourself.
“You really have to find your own voice.”
“It is good to be pushed out of your comfort zone,” she said.
School21 is a government-funded but autonomous “free school.” In 2014, Big Change assisted School 21 with seed funding for the development of their oracy program/framework and has continued to provide valuable support. It was great motivation to further understand how the money fundraised by the Virgin Strive Challenge is making a difference in the world.