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Community, creativity, citizenship: Local schools get national awards

17 July 2023
Lots of people in stalls looking toward a stage at a theatre
The audience at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where Riverside pupils performed

 

A blog from Councillor Sue Powell-Wilde, Chair of Children, Young People and Education Committee for Wirral Council 

We’ve had some fantastic news in Wirral over the last few weeks as several of our schools have won competitions and been showcased on the national stage. From terrific teachers to superb students, three local schools have been recognised for their efforts and honoured with awards… I’d like to tell you a little bit about them all. 

 

Mosslands students recognised for work against County Lines gangs with prestigious national award 

First up, a group of students who helped prevent young people from joining County Lines gangs through a number of community initiatives have been honoured at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Awards for Community Engagement. 

The Mosslands School in Wallasey brought home the gold after seeing off competition from 172 secondary schools from across the UK. 

In their efforts to keep their peers away from crime, Mosslands students have worked with Merseyside Police for the past three years to deliver the Active Citizenship project. 

From weekly after schools engagement sessions to encourage young people to volunteer, to working with Scouts, the police cadets, and holding martial arts classes, more than 360 young people will be involved with the project this calendar year. 

For their standout work, The Mosslands students received a gold medal and a £3,000 prize to be used for increasing the impact of the school’s charitable activities.  

I’d like to congratulate The Mosslands School students, and thank them for bringing awareness to an issue which affects our borough, as it does many areas of the country. 

Your commitment to crime reduction and community engagement is an inspiration to so many young people and families out there. 

 

Poetry by Heart: Riverside Primary takes the stage at London’s historic Globe theatre 

Next, some exciting news for a primary school in Seacombe as Year 6 students were invited to travel to London to perform a medley of Shakespeare’s works, as part of a competition called ‘Poetry by Heart’. 

Poetry by Heart is a national poetry speaking competition for schools and colleges, open to all pupils in key stages 2 to 5. According to Riverside staff, the competition judges were so taken with students’ piece ahead of the final that they were asked to open the whole event. 

Held at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the historic site is a reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays, based on the south bank of the River Thames in London – what an incredible stage for some of our local year 6’s to make their national debut! 

Alongside opening the show, the group were declared finalists in the ‘Freestyle’ category where, according to Poetry By Heart’s website, they ‘celebrate all kinds of everything that young people want to do with a poem’. Riverside were shortlisted alongside 13 other schools, selected from a pool of more than 2,000 entries from across the country. 

I would like to extend my congratulations and pride to the pupils and staff at Riverside for their hard work throughout this competition. Taking part in a competition like Poetry By Heart is about developing confidence with art and creativity in an enjoyable, accessible and engaging way. I’d like to thank the pupils at Riverside for representing Wirral on an international stage, a world heritage site no less, and delivering a fantastic performance. 

 

‘Forward-thinking’ Headteacher commended for national awards 

And finally, New Ferry headteacher Lisa Walsh has been honoured at a national level for her work driving ‘substantial change’ at Grove Street Primary. 

A Silver Winner of a Pearson National Teaching Award, Lisa has “developed and nurtured a therapeutic, family environment for the whole school community”, according to the awarding body’s website. She joins four other headteachers as a Silver winner in the Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School category. 

All members of the Grove Street Primary School community, from the children to teachers, are encouraged to grow by Lisa and she leads by example. She initiated Wirral’s first ‘Building Futures’ whole school careers day and is a strong advocate for continued professional development (CPD) for her staff. 

Lisa also leads on Early Years Foundation Stage improvement working alongside Local Authority education officers, she lectures student teachers at Liverpool Hope University and initiates community projects such as the school foodbank and uniform exchange. These are just a few strings to her bow that helped her take home the silver. 

The Pearson National Teaching Awards were set up to celebrate the impact of invaluable education within the UK. Run by the Teaching Awards Trust and supported by Pearson and the BBC, they are the UK’s most prestigious celebration of transformational teaching. 

Lisa is not only a credit to her school, but a brilliant example of the impact that a great Headteacher can have on her local community.  

Grove Street Primary’s ethos is ‘Minds, Learning, Futures’, I believe she embodies this wholeheartedly. I’d like to congratulate Lisa on her Silver win, she truly deserves it. 

Lisa Walsh with her award alongside Nicky Cornford and James Backhouse
Lisa Walsh with her award, alongside school Governor Nicky Cornford and James Backhouse of Wirral Council

To learn more about: 

The Goldsmiths’ Awards for Community Engagement, click here: https://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/ 

Poetry by Heart, click here: https://poetrybyheart.org.uk/ 

The Pearson awards, click here: https://www.teachingawards.com/