This academic year, as you know, we decided to launch a new initiative aimed at raising the self-esteem and aspirations of targeted girls at Stuart Bathurst: ‘empower’ was born.
We had a vision for a brand to be visible across the school that would inspire girls to become confident within their own skin and transfer this confidence to their learning in lessons.
The project has three facets: raising self-esteem, academic attainment and links with the community. Pupils have been encouraged to develop their leadership skills and promote female achievement across the school and with our feeder primary schools. We wanted the project to be very pupil-focused and pupils were given ownership right from the start where they designed the branding that would best represent females and the mission within our school (see the brilliant logo above designed by our Year 10 girls).
To raise self-esteem, workshops have been held on a weekly basis at lunchtime for a target group of girls in Year 9 and 10 that deliver sessions on topics such as body confidence, self-perception and gratitude.
Our talented staff have signed up throughout the year to lead Girls’ Night sessions on Monday evenings where girls across the school are exposed to an array of new extra-curricular sessions. We have had sessions on Hairdressing, Cup-cake baking, Nail Art, Chocolate Night and Fashion and Business to name a few.
In terms of links with the community, partnerships have been established with a school in London, we attended the WOW conference led by the phenomenal Mulberry School for Girls, and there have also been partnerships with Creative Therapy services at Murray Hall Community Trust that have been established too. In addition, we planned and delivered a fantastically enjoyable ‘empower unite’ day for two of our primary feeder schools who came and engaged with guest-speakers from the business world and took part in kickboxing and self-defence, physical theatre workshops and designing a DVD message for their peers on the importance of self-confidence.
As we look to develop the initiative next year, a new cohort of girls will be welcomed on to the programme in Year 9 where they will undertake a new range of activities in addition to engaging with topical feminist issues as they progress through the year. Year 7, 8 and 10 pupils can stay tuned for developments on how to be a part of the wider empower movement. In addition, Girls’ Night, our extra-curricular club will be back next year with old favourites and exciting new sessions to add to the mix as well. Our links with other schools will continue to evolve across the borough following a registration in interest from some of our local schools.
For further details on key aspects of the ‘empower’ initiative, explore our very own website at: https://empoweratstuartbathurst.wordpress.com
If you would like to get involved with ‘empower’ or have any ideas on how to further increase aspirations and self-esteem within young females, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved with the development of ‘empower’ in its inaugural year at Stuart Bathurst Catholic High School College of Performing Arts. Without the support of our parents and carers, governors, site, catering and administration staff, and wonderfully talented teaching staff and year co-ordinators, the initiative would not have been able to evolve in the way it has.
A final thank-you must go to all the inspirational, strong, smart and successful girls who have been involved with all parts of ‘empower’ over the year. It has been a pleasure working with you all and I look forward to sharing more empowering moments with you over the next academic year.
Wishing you all a very relaxing summer break,
Miss G Raindi
(Progression Co-Ordinator for Girls)