Student Wellbeing at the Heart of the School

Wellbeing is crucial to success.

As a School we recognise that girls, staff (and boys in the Sixth Form) need to feel happy, healthy and successful to achieve their goals.  Far too often the stresses, strains and pressures of everyday life hamper this.  The pressures young people face today are far greater than those of their parents mainly because of social media and the fact that students are bombarded with images of what they should look like, articles on how to harm themselves and indoctrination by online groups targeting young women and men.  Girls also put pressures on themselves to achieve highly and have very high expectations, comparing themselves to their peers.  The government enforced changes regarding exams, league tables and assessment without levels mean that teachers face more and more pressures to ensure our students achieve even higher grades.  This is not always healthy and we are looking at setting more realistic targets, without lowering our superb standards.  There needs to be a balance where stretch and challenge are supported by support and guidance.

At West Kirby Grammar, we recognise that everyone is different and try to get the girls and boys to be proud of who they are and to develop and grow their own personal attributes without worrying about comparison.  Staff are supported to develop their curriculum areas and we try to use the best of the old whilst introducing the new, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

Recently, we established our Student Wellbeing Committee.  This is a group of girls who showed a real interest in wellbeing; a committed team of young people who wish to focus on improving well-being across the school.  They have lots of energy and ideas.

Well Being Committee are pictured below - (Chairperson Fran Walsh was ill! when photo was taken!)

WBC.jpg

The Wellbeing Committee meet weekly to discuss how we can support all students and staff to be healthier in mind, body and spirit.  They led assemblies last week, introducing the committee and explaining what well-being means to them.  They run a drop in centre on Mondays where girls can go for a chat, do some activities and have a drink and a snack.  They have written a policy with clear aims which will be displayed in each classroom and they have started showering the school with positive thoughts.  It is wonderful that the committee want to take ownership of this initiative and have plans to support students and staff to make our community even more aware of what we can do to help ourselves and each other to be fulfilled, happy and successful. 

Here is their policy and their statement regarding Wellbeing:-

 

West Kirby Well Being 2016

What is “well-being?”…….

Well-being is to feel happy, fulfilled, confident and comfortable in your own skin; - proud of who you are, your skills and achievements. 

  • To have a healthy fit and active body and mind – to eat, sleep, work and play well.
  • To be able to bounce back even when things go wrong. 
  • To not feel stressed, to be content and able to cope with problems.
  • To be positive – focussing on the good things that happen and able to deal with the bad

Pressures we face:-

  • Being judged and judging
  • True friendship? What is it – silly fall-outs often lead to bitchiness
  • Appearance- thinking or being told we are too fat, skinny/spots/hair, make-up –
  • Identity-everyone compares and judges so often we try to be something we are not.
  • Friendships – arguments, jealousies, gossip, and social media-snap chat – trust
  • Family – siblings-arguments, finances, health/illness – not being understood
  • School- exams, achievements – A/B not good enough-not wanting to appear stupid so don’t ask for help – thick! Having to take GCSEs parents want not what girls want.
  • Being singled out –scared of being different or getting things wrong in class or elsewhere.
  • “The in crowd” – some students seem to be the “hip and popular” ones, fashionable and noisy – others feel left out or are made to feel like under-dogs -this shouldn’t happen or matter but it does.

Our  Aims

  • For everyone to be happy in school – staff and students-even when things go wrong -be able to bounce back.
  • To promote kindness, tolerance and mutual respect across the School community and bring people together.
  • Support others especially if they feel lonely or sad.
  • Include others by accepting and embracing differences – be proud of our own and other’s identity.
  • Nobody should feel alone or isolated.
  • To help each other to be self-confident and not to be afraid of failure.
  • Further develop positive student/student and student teacher relationships. -To ensure that help is on hand to support everyone deal with pressures.
  • Ensure students feel comfortable in seeking help, know where to go for support and have appropriate help
  • Develop a healthy understanding of “healthy” – life style, body image, diet – healthy eating and exercise.
  • To provide help with time management and organisation where it is needed.
  • Give guidance and share techniques to help students take responsibility and ownership for their own learning
  • To help with managing targets – are they realistic?  We are not all A* students….and that doesn’t matter!
  • Enable students to make realistic career choices and have clear aspirations for the future…we are not all going to be doctors or vets so appropriate careers and pathways advice will be given.

They have many ideas and are keen to support students and staff to achieve these aims.  The Wellbeing committee were behind the Christmas Classroom Decoration competition in their endeavour to get tutor groups to work together.  They run a session every Monday where students can drop in for a chat or to do some activities and they have put positive thoughts around the School and issued a card with a “Thought for the day” on to all staff and students.  This is only the beginning….we are determined to be the happiest school community in England, where all are valued and respected for what they bring to our family.  If you have any ideas or wish to be more involved in helping us achieve our aims please contact the committee via the website.

Ayesha

Ayesha joined WKGS from Leamington Community Primary School in Liverpool in September 2015. She is now in Year 8 and her favourite subjects are Biology, Mathematics and Religious Studies. Her proudest moment so far in life was winning an art competition and meeting the then Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Tony Concepcion. Outside of school she enjoys swimming and cycling. Ayesha hopes to become a doctor because she wants to help people to the best of her ability.

"I was really nervous coming to WKGS, especially because I was the only student from my primary school and leaving my friends behind was difficult. The induction day was really helpful and everyone was very welcoming. I found it easy to make new friends. I believe that life is not a race and the only things you should be chasing are your dreams. If you are willing to let West Kirby help you to achieve them, this is the place for you."

Kristen

Kristen is in Year 12 and joined WKGS from St Bridget's Primary School, West Kirby when she was in Year 7. She is studying four subjects in Year 12; Fine Art, Textiles, Psychology and Biology. She enjoys Art a lot, but Textiles is her passion and she hopes to work within the Fashion Industry. Her greatest achievement was securing an A* grade in both GCSE Art and Textiles.

I am very happy to be part of the Sixth Form at WKGS and in particular because of the breadth of A-level options available, including Fine Art, Art Textiles and Textiles Technology.

Sheila

Sheila McClennon is our Chair of Governors.

"I have such happy memories of my time at West Kirby and am still friends with the girls I met here. We were quite a lively group, did a lot of drama and I just remember lots of laughter; those uncontrollable giggles that come out of nowhere usually in assembly. But we all did well. I worked in Paris before studying English, Drama and American Studies at Manchester University. Since then I have worked in radio and television as a reporter and presenter mainly on BBC Radio 4 although I did have a lovely year with Terry Wogan taking famous people out to lunch before his chat show. I moved back to the Wirral when my daughter Rachel was born and was thrilled when she, too, started at West Kirby. And now after many years as a Parent Governor I have taken over as Chair. It’s a great honour - I owe the school a lot and it’s nice to be able to give something back."

Nicole

Nicole is in Year 9 and joined WKGS from Avalon School in September 2014. Year 9 girls have already begun their GCSE courses and Nicole enjoys GCSE PE, English and Maths lessons. Her other options are German, History, Business, Religious Studies and Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Nicole is a hugely talented Table Tennis player and has represented England at the European Mini Cadets & Ireland at the Slovakian Open. She aspires to play at the Commonwealth Games in Tokyo.

She writes: I like WKGS because the school gives me the best opportunities to be the best I can be.

Hannah

Hannah joined WKGS in September 2012 from Prenton Preparatory School. She is now in Year 11 and is studying Mathematics and Further Maths, English, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Latin and Physical Education at GCSE. Hannah enjoys swimming and running competitively and competes in many triathlons. She also plays Netball and takes part in athletics and cross country fixtures for the School.

Hannah is a very able mathematician and hopes to study a maths or science-related degree at university. She writes:

WKGS is very welcoming. There are a variety of different activities, which are suitable for everyone. The staff are friendly and helpfu and provide the best opportunities to help me achieve my goals.

Sienna

Sienna is in Year 7 and joined WKGS in September 2016. She was previously a pupil at Cornist Park Primary School in North Wales. Sienna has settled in well and loves Maths, French and Spanish lessons. She enjoys netball, ballet and tap, musical theatre and drama activities and raises money for the RNLI each summer. Sienna's proudest achievement to date was winning the Under 12s Welsh netball championship in Cardiff; she was part of the first team under the age of 16 to win this accolade. Sienna will remain at WKGS until Year 13 when she hopes to go on to become a brain or heart surgeon.

I feel proud and excited to be part of such a wonderful school. WKGS is worth more than getting up at 6 o'clock each morning! It is where I've always wanted to be. I love it!! 

Mr N Attwood

Neil Attwood is our IT Manager and since the early 1980’s, whilst a pupil at Calday Grammar School, he has been involved in computing. He is a Time Served Electrician and has a Degree in Software Engineering. He joined WKGS in 2007 as an IT Technician and has developed as the School’s IT Provision since. Over the past three years the school has installed an entirely new network and new virtualised servers and now has a solid foundation in for current and future technologies. From here on the possibilities of utilising new teaching and learning techniques are un-paralleled. Neil has recently become a member of the Health and Safety Committee and has embarked on as Master Course in Advanced Education Practice.

“I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to work at WKGS. The school's ethos is both traditional and modern with staff and leadership embracing the ever increasing uses of technology. We are now at the beginning of a whole new era of Mobile Technologies and I am looking forward to developing these for the benefit of both staff and students. Over the next few years I want to enhance the teaching and learning experience by introducing new methods of interactivity and collaboration which will allow our students to excel both during their schooling and in their onward journey into higher education and beyond”.

Mrs A Goodall

Mrs Audra Goodall joined WKGS as Head of Physical Education way back in 1994, having previously taught at Derby Moor Community School where she was Head of Year 9. She attended Worcester Girls’ Grammar School before progressing on to Bedford College of Physical Education where she graduated with a BEd(Hons) in Human Movement Studies. Audra has always had a passion for sport and as a teenager represented Worcestershire in netball, athletics and cross country. She then went on to represent Wales in the U21 and senior national netball squad for seven years.  She still enjoys keeping fit by playing netball for Vale Royal Netball Club in the Chester netball league as well as running whenever she can find the time!

‘I feel privileged to lead a team of highly motivated and committed colleagues in the PE department at WKGS who give so much of their time to provide additional opportunities for our students. It’s fantastic how sport for girls has progressed and there are now so many activities for them to get involved in, with so many positive role models to aspire to. The students at WKGS have a vast range of extra-curricular activities to choose from, covering all areas of the curriculum. I love our traditional school House system which allows them to take part in the 1500m on Sports Day, sing in the House Choir or try out their culinary skills in the House Bake-Off!’

Elizabeth

Elizabeth (Lizzie) is in Year 10. She joined us in September 2013 from Avalon School, West Kirby. She is enjoying the challenge of 10 GCSE subjects and in particular enjoys Music, Geography, French and Spanish. A keen clarinetist, Lizzie has completed her Grade 5 exam as well as Grade 6 in piano. She is a chorister at Liverpool Cathedral and plays in Wirral Schools' Concert Band.

Lizzie's greatest achievement to date is singing with the Liverpool Cathedral Choir in a concert which was televised on BBC1. She looks forward to reaching Grade 8 in both instruments and wishes to pursue a successful career in science.

West Kirby Grammar School has offered me many new opportunities that I would never have thought of doing alone. It has helped discover new talents and make memories that I will never forget.

 

Ryan

Ryan is in Year 12 and joined us from Birkenhead School for our Sixth Form. He is studying English Literature, PE, Physics and Economics. He particularly enjoys studying English Literature and Economics, which is housed in our newly refurbished Sixth Form Centre, Easedale. Outside of school, Ryan is a keen sportsman and plays tennis and football; a sport in which he has won over sixty trophies. Ryan's ambition is to set up a successful financial advertising company, which makes his A-level Economics a top priority!

I was extremely excited and happy to join WKGS as I knew it to be a very good school, which gets extremely strong results and could help me fulfil my potential in every aspect of life. "Everything was impossible, until someone actually did it...."

Kaya

Kaya joined WKGS in September 2016 in Year 12. She was formerly a student of Birkenhead High School Academy. She is studying A-levels in History, Spanish and Economics and a fourth AS subject, English Literature.

Kaya is a very keen rower and competes at Warrington Rowing Club. Her greatest acheivement to date is coming second in the British Junior Rowing Championships in July 2016 with her double partner. She also relishes being part of the Young Enterprise project in her enrichment periods.

I was really excited to join WKGS for the Sixth Form. It provided me with a fresh start and a chance to make new friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far as everyone has been so welcoming. I find all my A-level subjects really interesting.

Bethan

Bethan joined WKGS in Year 7 from St Peter's Church of England Primary School, Heswall. She is now in Year 12 and is studying Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and Spanish. She is working towards her Grade 5 piano examination and enjoys dance lessons in Modern and Musical Theatre. Bethan is looking forward to going to Uganda in the summer of 2017 with her Youth Group. Her proudest achievement to date has been getting the role of Maria in the school production of The Sound of Music in November 2016. She hopes to go to university, possibly to study medicine. However, she intends also to continue studying Spanish and it's something she really enjoys.

I honestly couldn't be happier at WKGS. Being here has given me so many amazing opportunities and I have formed great friendships, which I am sure will last for life.

Miss S Cliffe

Miss Sophie Cliffe joined WKGS as a newly qualified Psychology teacher in September 2016. Having completed her BSc Psychology and Criminology degree at Liverpool John Moores in 2014, she has since gone on to complete her PGCE at Glyndwr University in Wales. Sophie describes herself as a teacher who is passionate about her subject and someone who is devoted to becoming a subject specialist pedagogue. For this reason, she has recently enrolled to complete a Masters in Education run by WKGS alongside Liverpool John Moores University. 

 

I am privileged to be part of a fantastic department that runs extra curricular trips and excursions to enable students to apply psychology to real life situations. In December, we are taking students to London overnight so they have the opportunity to participate in a phobia workshop! We are also attending a Criminology conference in the latter part of the year. This will provide students with a unique insight into why people commit crime, which will assist them in their discussions when we cover forensic psychology as a module later on in the year. 

Tonia

Tonia joined WKGS in 2002 from Avalon School and left in 2009, with AAB A levels. This enabled her to go on to study at the University of Birmingham, where she achieved a First Class honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science. After university, she undertook the role of Sports Intern at Millfield in Somerset. She has since been working in as Outdoor Activities Co-ordinator and Assistant Houseparent in a girl’s boarding house. In the future, she plans to complete a PGCE and enter the teaching profession.

During her time at WKGS, Tonia was elected as Paton House Captain. This leadership role led to her most memorable moment from school; captaining Paton House to victory in the highly anticipated, annual House Music competition, with a medley of songs from ‘The Lion King’.

"WKGS opened my eyes to the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community. I was given the opportunity to travel to Inner Mongolia, rural China, as part of the ‘Making a Difference’ project in 2007, which is an extremely worthwhile cause. Additionally, I gained an appreciation of the value of team work and camaraderie, through group work, representing the School in sport and the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. I believe my strong educational background, teamed with making the most of every opportunity, provided me with many transferable skills and prepared me for life after leaving school with many happy memories and lifelong friends."

 

Mr J Young

Jon Young is in charge of Product Design. He grew up on the Wirral and attended South Wirral High School, where he was always involved in shows, productions, choirs, trips and house events. He was inspired by John Griffiths, an iconic, brown lab-coated CDT teacher who had a kind heart and an immense love for machinery and materials. Jon became Head Boy at South Wirral before embarking on a degree in Product Design with QTS at JMU. He then joined WKGS in 2002 in a time of transition from CDT and Electronics to industrial application, modern materials and manufacturing. Jon is a very active member of the Parents Association and also a School Governor on the Curriculum and Health & Safety Committee.

"I am very fortunate to work in a forward-thinking school with colleagues who all want the best for their students and strive to provide them with the best resources and enrichment opportunities to stretch beyond the school day. I also enjoy supporting the PA and organise the Junior School Disco. Recently, I have also been appointed as Enterprise Coordinator, a new and exciting challenge, which will involve me forging links with local businesses and running Enterprise Days. It is an exciting time in Technology at WKGS with a new computer suite, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, a new laser cutter and 3D printer, all of which enable our students to produce work of an industrial and commercial standard."

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Ayesha
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Kristen
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Sheila
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Nicole
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Hannah
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Sienna
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Mr N Attwood
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Mrs A Goodall
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Elizabeth
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Ryan
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Kaya
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Bethan
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Miss S Cliffe
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Tonia
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Mr J Young
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