In March, students took part in the school competition ‘Show Racism the Red Card.’ We ran this as a PGHS competition and received many entries that were creative and original. The best 7 were put to an anonymous staff vote and the school winners were:
1st place Year 9 – Emma C
2nd place Year 10 – Libby W and Maisie W
3rd place – Naomi S
Each school were allowed one entry per category to be put forward to the national entries. Emma C’s work was entered in to the Year 7-9 Artwork category and Maisie W and Libby W’s work were placed in the Year 10+ Creative Writing and Artwork category.
Maisie W and Libby W came second in their category overall. This was out of 25,000 entries across the country. They were invited to the awards ceremony at Anfield last week, where CBeebies presenters, Ben Cajee and Alex Winters presented the awards. Other special guests included Liverpool legends, John Barnes and Alan Kennedy.
The prizes donated by the sponsors of the charity were outstanding. Both students received an England football shirt, a football shirt from the team that they support, a football, a FIFA 2023, 2 books, ASDA vouchers and other prizes.
The whole awards ceremony was very humbling and inspiring. We listened to some of the entries from other students who had come from as far as Surrey to collect their awards. We will certainly be running this competition again in the next academic year. On October 20th 2023, we will be wearing red in support of the charity.
All entries to the school competition and the national entries will proudly be shown on display in school over the coming months.
On Friday 31st March Penwortham Girls’ High School held our second Culture and Community Day where students were invited to wear clothes which represented them and their culture, hobbies or interests. There was a fantastic array of colourful dress and uniform with staff joining in too. Discussions took place throughout the day with students and teachers alike invited to share what they were wearing and how it was significant to them. It really was a superb day and created a fantastic buzz around school.
Usually when we have ‘non-uniform days’ in school students choose to raise money for charity. Whilst we were thinking about our community our Student Leadership Team wanted to do something a little different and therefore decided that each student should bring in an item of food to donate to a local food bank. The response to this was phenomenal so a massive thank you to everyone who donated.
The stage was the central collection point and the front of it was absolutely covered in donations as you can see from the photographs.
The donations were then divided between three local foodbanks chosen by the Student Leadership team. These were: Penwortham Food Bank, Noor Food Bank and The Foxton Centre. Each Food Bank was astounded by the donations received and were extremely grateful.
This is something we will certainly look to do in future. A tremendous success everyone; Well done!
This week is Empathy Week 2023, and we are promoting the importance of empathy during assemblies scheduled for every year group. Empathy is strongly linked to our school core values which include social responsibility, compassion, dignity, and resilience. As our world becomes more connected and globalised, navigating it becomes more complex.
Empathy is the skill that underpins connection, trust, safety and hence wellbeing. We want our students to understand those around them, whether they agree with them or not. We hope that this will allow them to build better, more meaningful, and fruitful relationships with those around them.
Last year as a school we participated in a research project with the University of Cambridge to show how the programme can impact on developing the skill of empathy in our students. We also were invited by the Empathy Week team to talk to other schools at the Bett show in London last year.
This year we will be focusing on the story of Bhawana who tells her story of upholding rights, education, and gender equality. She uses her personal ambition to improve not only her own circumstances but also help support the rights of others, showing her ambition for a better world.
This then ties into the assemblies next week which will highlight International Women’s Day and the 2023 theme is EmbraceEquity.
Last Friday representatives from each form group in years 7-9 attended an hour long question and answer session with our local MP, Katherine Fletcher. Students came well prepared with questions on a variety of topics including the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine and the winter strikes. Before the Christmas break, as part of their study of Fundamental British Values, students had learnt about the issue of migration across the English Channel, and had prepared a number of questions for Mrs Fletcher on the topical issue. Mrs Fletcher gave full answers to all questions and students were provided with a superb insight into current affairs from an MP’s perspective, as well as a glimpse into the Parliamentary world. It was very much appreciated by the students that Mrs Fletcher had given up her time to visit school and give such honest and interesting answers to their questions.
At Penwortham Girls’ High school, we are committed to promoting an environment where all students feel part of our community. As the first secondary school in Lancashire to achieve all of the LCC Equality Charter marks, we are aware of how important it is to provide a platform for certain groups such as our LGBTQIA+ students.
We run an LGBTQIA+ group for KS3 and KS4 students at lunchtimes during the week. This provides the students with a space where they can explore their identity, make friends, have a voice and have a sense of belonging. The group worked as a team to put together assemblies to celebrate LGBTQIA+ history month. We are now working toward the Rainbow Flag Award to celebrate the school’s approach to inclusion.
Each half term we like to present the ‘Caroline Lowton Kindness Trophy’ to one student in a year group who has demonstrated kindness and support to their peers every day. Caroline was a very special individual who, as our school nurse, always went the extra mile to support our students both in school and at home; we always look forward to presenting this trophy in her memory.
Last half term, we asked Year 11 to nominate a student who demonstrates kindness daily; kindness that goes unnoticed by many but is truly appreciated by a few. There was one student who stood out as being kind and compassionate to others. This student really did stand out from the rest with some truly thoughtful words which we know would have made Caroline smile, therefore we would like to award the trophy to Maryam M. After receiving the award Maryam said “What makes this award so special to me is that my friends and peers were the ones that voted for me, and I think there are so many people worthy of this award, so I really appreciate everyone who voted for me. It’s a huge honour to receive this award and thank you so much to everyone that voted!”
We are very proud to announce that PGHS have been awarded the full Lancashire Equality Mark! We are the first secondary school in Lancashire to achieve this award, which is given to schools that can demonstrate a commitment to embedding equality throughout their practice and who enable all their students to thrive in a supportive learning community.
For the past three years, our school has been working towards the Lancashire Equality Mark. There are six different strands, and all must be achieved before the school can be awarded the full mark: Socio-economic, Race, Religion, Gender and Gender Variance, Sexual Orientation and Disability.
Working towards these different strands has created lots of opportunities within our school to celebrate our diverse and amazing school community. We have enjoyed celebrating International Women’s Day, where we were able to welcome some of our incredible PGHS alumni back into our school, including Dame Sue Ion and the BBC’s Nazia Mogra. We have also sought lots of opportunities as a school community to broaden our knowledge of equality in the wider world, such as in our research competition for Black History Month, or our sessions with ‘Solutions Not Sides’ during our school drop down days. Last year, we even held our very own ‘Unitee’ fashion show, which challenged each form to create their own T-Shirt inspired by the theme of unity!
A representative from Lancashire County Council has previously visited PGHS to see what we have been doing as a school to ensure and promote equality. We are incredibly proud with the feedback we received from the council, which described our work on ensuring inclusivity as “exemplary”. They also said our learning environment was “particularly inspiring” and wanted to pass on their congratulations to all staff and pupils in school.
We are looking forward to finding yet more opportunities to celebrate and support our diverse school community. Myself and Mrs Hall are excited to be working with our newly elected School Respect Council Leader, who is full of exciting ideas about different ways that we can continue to promote equality in school.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was ‘Break the Bias’, and calls for people to imagine a gender-equal world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination; that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive; and a world where difference is valued and celebrated.
As a school, we wanted to celebrate women with connections to the school community so we invited former students and staff to take part in an assembly to reflect on the challenges faced by women today. It was our pleasure to interview the BBC presenter Nazia Mogra, Dame Sue Ion, and also Professor Suzanne Ost who all attended Penwortham Girls’ High School in their formative years.
They shared their insights into what had driven them to achieve success and highlighted the importance of our school’s core values; resilience and ambition. They additionally highlighted the importance of integrity, being ethical, and the value of a positive mindset.
This week is Empathy Week 2022 and we are promoting the importance of empathy during assemblies scheduled for every year group. Empathy is strongly linked to our school core values which include social responsibility, compassion, dignity, and resilience.
Empathy Week is a global schools programme that uses the power of film to develop the skills of empathy and leadership in students across 40+ countries and 6 continents. So far over 100,000 students have been engaged in the previous two years, even through the pandemic. This year the theme is for Empathy Week is ‘Passion and Purpose’ and beyond the assemblies, there is an opportunity for your daughter to become involved in an ‘Empathy Action Project’ and work alongside the Respect Council.
As a school, we are aware that peer and online abuse is an increasing issue and we want to form a focus group of students we can work with to ensure that all students are informed, know how to stay safe and where they can access help and support if they need it.
Additionally, we have also been provided by the Department for Education with a supply of free period products to enable all learners to participate fully in education by making period products available as and when they are needed. Research shows that 1 in 14 girls say they have missed schools as they could not afford or access period products. We have found that some girls are hesitant to access these free period products and we want to ascertain their views so they can access period products freely when needed.
We are aiming to get a sound representation of student voice and action from across the school and make a real positive difference.
Penwortham Girls’ High School is to be awarded the Silver Rights Respecting School Award by UNICEF UK and is the first secondary school in Lancashire to achieve it.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights.
The Rights Respecting School Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school. Silver is given to schools that make excellent progress towards embedding the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into its ethos and curriculum. There are over 1200 schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that have achieved Silver and over 500 schools that have been awarded Gold, the next step up and highest accolade granted by UNICEF UK.
Sharon Hall, Deputy headteacher said: “We are very proud to have gained the Silver Rights Respecting Schools Award which recognises the hard work the students, staff and the wider community have put in to learning about the rights our students enjoy. The RRSA has a positive impact on students and the school as a whole – encouraging discussion, helping students to articulate their views and ensuring they learn about the experiences of children around the world.”
The Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of a school’s planning, policies and practice. A Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.