When our new school building had its official opening by the Lord Archbishop of York, the Most 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 third Year Woodchurch High School Church of England Academy have entered pupils for the award and over 750 pupils have now made a difference to people they know personally, members of our school family and the local community.
On 7th July we hosted our third 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. Jeff Turnbull, Director of Education for the Diocese of Chester led our thoughts on helping others is helping God (Hebrew 13:15f). We were also pleased to welcome Mrs Jenny Schwarz, the Interact Regional Coordinator who also helped present the awards. We had over 100 guests visit to witness this celebration and also a class from Woodchurch C of E Primary School who led us in a hymn.
During the ceremony we heard stories from our pupils about the work they had completed during the year, how people of faith who changed the world inspired them and heard about the various community challenges which have made a significant difference to the community around them.
This year’s personal challenges included working with elderly neighbours by cutting their grass, cleaning cars and heavy lifting; helping at Primary School’s giving children opportunities they wouldn’t normally have; helping renovate local parks and roads, delivering Christmas cards and coaching local community football teams. All of these challenges stretched our pupils leadership skills and helped others tremendously.
For our school challenges this year, all of our pupils took place doing a read-a-thon. This was a paired reading activity aiming to increase pupils’ literacy skills between Year 7 and Year 8. Many pupils found this pushed them to develop new friendships and develop their own reading skills.
For our community challenges, we have been really pleased to work with both Magenta Living again and form a new partnership with the Oxton Gateway Project. Not only this year have we visited Brackendale Sheltered Accommodation again, doing Bingo, Christmas Decoration workshops and High Tea’s, we have also been in the community clearing car parks, planting bulbs in Illchester Park, making allotment plaques and much more.
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, reflecting their understanding of this key Bible verse for our school life.
We would like to thank Magenta Living, The Oxton Gateway Project, Mersey forests, Winston’s Place Nursery and Life Church Bebington for helping us with our community projects this year and we look forward to working with these and other groups next year.