When our new school building had its official opening by the Lord Archbishop of York, the Rt Hon and Most Rev Dr John Sentemu, he spoke of his Youth Trust, and the Young Leaders Award that inspired young people to change their local communities. This is the second Year Woodchurch High School Church of England Academy have entered pupils for the award and nearly 500 pupils have now made a difference to people they know personally, members of our school family and the local community.
On 1st July we hosted our second annual Awards ceremony. Over 240 pupils from Year 8 were awarded their certificates and badges in recognition of their work with people they know, members of the local community and their work in supporting our school. The Lord Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster led our thoughts on Jesus’ phrase “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). We were also pleased to welcome Rev Bill Lynn, the new president of the Rotary Club of Birkenhead who also helped present the awards. We also had 160 guest visit to witness this celebration.
During the ceremony we heard stories from our pupils about the work they had completed, presented work to Magenta Living for their guest foyer in their Birkenhead offices and syringe bags to the Clatterbridge Cancer NHS trust.
This years personal challenges included pupils helping others read or learn sign language, going into Primary School’s leading sessions, creating memorial gardens, helping elderly neighbours, doing gardening for people who were not able to do it themselves and helping out at dance groups.
In our school challenges, pupils have completed bag packs in Sainsbury’s Upton and the funds raised have gone to support the pupils who are on the Autistic Spectrum on their annual residential trip and some has gone towards the school’s farm. Another form sorted our entire school’s harvest collection this took 25 pupils over an hour each to sort, check and then repack the hundreds of tins and other donations we had been given by members of our school community, another worked on an environmental awareness campaign, and others have completed literacy intervention with pupils in 7 during registration time.
For our community challenges, we have been really pleased to work with Magenta Living closely over the course of the year and especially building up links with Brackendale Sheltered Accommodation. Pupils planted daffodil bulbs in October time, prepared and ran a Christmas afternoon high tea and replanted flower beds at Brackendale as well as socialising and arranging a pool tournament! Two forms created questionnaires to ask residents both of Brackendale, and Manor Homes, Upton about life when they were growing up. The results of the ‘Living History’ project have put into a book which has been sent to residents of these two homes, and is also available for download on our website. Pupils also created an ‘Old Wirral’ photograph memorabilia booklet to show residents when the visited them - residents enjoyed this and it encouraged them to talk about old memories of Wirral in a by-gone era and one form designed a ‘Welcome to your new home card’ which will be delivered to all of the residents of the new homes on the old St Benedicts site.
Through everything our pupils have done this year, they have shown a heart of servanthood, and more importantly they have cared for others. As Jesus said “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and praise your Father who is in Heaven....” and through the work our pupils have done this year, they have shared their light with others.