A caring secondary school welcomed Erdington MP last Friday (28 June) to its first ever Wellbeing Week – five days of engaging activities designed to support children and prepare them for modern life.
The MP, who has praised Stockland Green School on its latest ‘Good’ Ofsted report, visited the oversubscribed academy to meet with staff and students and to find out more about wellbeing initiatives.
During the week, children experienced a range of events, including educational visits to three universities and various colleges; workshops on the effects of knife crime; keeping yourself safe; mental wellbeing; sexual health; avoiding gang culture; live dissections in an operating theatre environment; and year 7 enterprise programmes. A number of organisations in the area also showed their support by participating in the week.
During his visit, Mr Dromey said:
Stockland Green School is going from strength to strength. This pioneering Wellbeing Week is designed to, unashamedly, tackle a range of difficult issues. Duck them, and we let young people down. If these children feel confident and engaged, then there’s no problem that cannot be solved or no mountain that can’t be climbed.”
The MP took to the stage to celebrate the achievements and encourage students to keep on talking about key issues. He said: “It’s a real pleasure to be here. Erdington is rich in talent. I’m passionate about engaging young people and ensuring that each person gets the best possible start in life through quality education and teachers, as demonstrated by this excellent school.”
Headteacher Marie George (pictured below with Jack) added:
We’re offering practical help to young people to overcome any struggles in their life, to keep them safe and to equip themselves with the tools to handle a range of issues, such as mental illness and wellbeing; domestic violence; body image; and stress of exams.
These issues will effect some of our families and students and so it’s important that our Stockland Green family continue to support each other. Feedback from students has been extremely positive. Our children have taken up the opportunities afforded to them and this whole initiative has been driven by 22 wellbeing leaders, who have worked tirelessly on this first of many Wellbeing Weeks. My thanks goes out to all those – including Jack – who have supported us to ensure this event has been a success at all levels.”
Mrs George then introduced the MP to the school’s ‘entrepreneurs of the future’ an industrious group of year 7s who have been turning their business ideas into fundraising donations. As part of the Enterprise Project, children were given £5 to create their very own trader stalls, selling home-made items, such as bracelets and cakes, and tasked with making a profit. The young ‘Dragons’ will calculate their gains at the end of next week and donate all the money to a local mental health charity.
Commenting on the week and visit, year 7 student, Omara Khan said: “It’s been a really good week. I’ve learnt a lot and taken part in so many activities – it was a great surprise to meet Mr Dromey.”
Fellow year 7 student and cake baker, Mia Anderson, said: “I enjoyed the week and it really made us think. Hopefully, we can raise lots of money too.”
Leading the wellbeing activities at Stockland Green is deputy headteacher Rebecca Goode, who has been working with staff, students and community members to create a week to remember.
She said: “This week has been about delivering the key message that we must look after ourselves and each other. It was designed to inform, empower and support children; to equip them with those all-important life skills to tackle the challenges of today’s world.”
Ms. Goode has also been leading on the school’s Rights Respecting award, as part of an Erdington ATLP initiative to be recognised by international children’s charity UNICEF for empowering and respecting young people. Slade Primary’s launch event in May was also attended by Stockland Green and Jack Dromey MP, who is delighted to hear that Stockland Green has now achieved the Bronze Rights Respecting Award.
Ms. Goode added:
We are a school that listens to our children. We make sure that their voice is heard and that we give them confidence, support and respect. Our Wellbeing Week ties nicely with those core attributes of being a Rights Respecting School and it is fitting that this Bronze award arrived this week, and we are proud and delighted to receive this honour.
We nurture and care for the whole child here. It’s not only about the quality of education; we want our students to be resilient, to be ambitious and, mostly, to be kind to ourselves and others. For if we are raised to believe in being a community, to be part of that family, then we can achieve anything.”