Life Lessons Learnt
Friday 3rd March saw the final PD Day for this academic year. Here’s a brief rundown of what the different year groups did and how the Heads of Year and students felt about their experiences of their days.
Year 7 spent the day focusing on the theme of diverse communities. During the day students explored topics such as hate crime, discrimination and identity.
Miss Daisy Seville, Head of Year 7, explained, “The reason for focussing on the topic is to encourage students to be respectful of others in society and to celebrate differences and have a positive attitude towards diversity in our society.”
Students had talks from various different people, including Ian Ashton, from Blackpool Police, who came and spoke to students about Hate Crime and the range of forms that this can take.
Miss Seville said, “He really impressed upon students the seriousness of this issue.”
Sylvia Crompton, from the Anne Frank Trust, came to talk to students about the Anne Frank story and gave students an insight into how Anne had to live due to the lack of tolerance in society and the discrimination that the Jews were subject to.
Miss Seville added, "The day was a great success in deepening our students understanding of this important topic. It reminded them that living in a diverse society is a positive thing.”
This term’s Year 8’s Personal Development Day consisted of a day visit to London.
Mr Paul Tyson, Head of Year 8, said, “Students began the day by arriving at school at 4am to travel by coach to London. We arrived at the Natural History Museum at 10am. Students had to focus on completing an activity booklet based around volcanoes and earthquakes. After lunch, we visited other parts of the Museum and had the chance to buy souvenirs before getting back on the coach to the Tower of London.
“At the Tower of London we had the chance to see the Crown Jewels, the Fusilier Museum, the White Tower, the guards and the Bloody Tower.
He added, “The day was very successful. It was a fantastic opportunity for students to see sights and exhibitions which they may never get the chance to see again.”
With the increase in use of social media and the impact that the media and advertising can have on young people, Year 9’s PD focused on Body Image and Self Esteem.
Miss Dixon, Head of Year 9, explained, “The day is designed to challenge young people’s opinions on body image, self-esteem, the media, stereotypes and peer pressure. It encourages students to look at the bigger, unfiltered, unedited picture and try to increase their sense of self.”
She added, “The day challenged perceived stereotypes, the influence the media and peers have on body image and self-esteem. It opened a lot of students eyes to the tricks that advertisers use to sell products and perhaps deceive the people.”
Leti Ellis-Grey said, “I enjoyed the day because I learnt how the media affects body image, and that it’s okay not to be “perfect!”
Jordan Whyte added, “Today I have learnt to understand not to judge people without knowing them, because what people wear or what they look like doesn’t tell you much about them.”
Reanne Vallance said, “Today was very helpful and I have learnt a lot about self-esteem and stereotypes. This day was very beneficial and I am sure many people will take all the advice given on board and think twice before judging people and stereotyping.”
This term’s Year 10 Personal Development Day centred on preparing students for stepping into the world of work.
Students began the day by choosing a job and preparing for an interview. Over the course of the day, all students faced a 1:1 formal interview: a particularly nerve-racking experience for most of them.
As well as the interview experience, students created CVs, wrote letters of application and completed application forms. In addition, they also heard from two professionals about their work places: Michelle Lingard, from Moys Vets, and Cheryl Pickstock, a paramedic with the NHS.
Mrs Cross, Head of Year 10, said, “The day was a great success. All the students used the opportunity to practise vital interviewing skills seriously and as a cohort really impressed the interviewing panel. All the skills they practised were relevant to all students and highly transferable.”
Year 11 headed off to Lancaster University for their PD Day. “The idea of the trip is to give students an understanding of university life, including: how a student has to look after themselves and their living costs; the requirements to apply to university; an opportunity to speak to current degree students and the chance to try a taster session in a degree subject,” said Mr Darren Elwell, Head of Year 11.
He added, “The day was really useful for two reasons – it reassured aspirational students that going to university is achievable, enjoyable and will open lots of doors for them in adult life. It also changed a few students’ minds about their negative view of university so that they came away thinking university could be a realistic option.
“Students really enjoyed the taster sessions in a variety of subjects – some of which they had never done before – such as engineering, marketing, and business economics. One of the biggest things was seeing our students’ reactions to how independent they would be expected to be – they weren’t expecting quite so much washing, cleaning and working in part-time jobs!”