Reflections on Autumn Term 2013

It’s been a busy term for all at Stuart Bathurst, including all involved in the work of ’empower.’

There are two groups of girls in Years 9 and 10 who are working on separate projects and doing the school proud. In addition, all girls in Key Stage 3 are welcome to attend Girls’ Night on Mondays from 3.15pm-4.15pm.

Our Year 9 cohort have successfully completed two modules on the GROW programme led by Herriott and Millward who are based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. The girls are supported by their fantastic trainer Sharon, who has taught them the art of manicures and pedicures. They have successfully hosted a SPA evening for staff as part of their assessment, which was very well received and are looking forward to completing their next module on Nail Art in the Spring Term. In addition, the girls have hosted the annual OAP Christmas Lunch with the help of Mr Wollerton and developed their communication and hospitality skills. The girls also attend lunchtime sessions once a week with Miss Raindi to discuss issues important to them and complete activities to raise self-esteem.

Year 10 girls have been putting in to practice the work and skills they learnt last academic year and are beginning to show signs of true leadership as they prepare to host ’empower unite’ for the second year running. This is our transition event with feeder primary schools which was a great success last year and enjoyed by all involved. We are looking to emulate this in 2014 so stay tuned for updates and save the date for 7th March, 2014.

Congratulations must also go to Niamh Lees and Laura Phillips who won the Empower Key Stage 3 and 4 awards respectively for their contributions to the initiative in 2012-2013. It was a real joy to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the girls and their hard-work at Awards Evening but recognition must also go to all the other girls who showed such dedication during their time on the initiative.

Girls’ Night has re-launched in the latter part of the Autumn Term and already we have seen fully subscribed sessions on Henna Art, Nail Art and Christmas Decorations. We are looking forward to hosting more sessions in the New Year and welcoming more girls to try out a session to broaden their horizons and develop their skills further.

Miss Raindi has spent part of the term talking to other schools about the work we have done at Stuart Bathurst to support girls through ’empower’ and we are thrilled to say that there are some schools who are interested in using our model to support their girls; both in the primary and secondary sector.

And so as we reflect on the term that has passed, it is clear that the key learning point is that a culture of collaboration and achievement is becoming embedded amongst girls and staff involved in the initiative and it is a real joy to experience the energy and drive behind some of our pupils who are demonstrating the signs of becoming fine, empowered young ladies, ready to take on 2014 and beyond! We are looking forward to discussing and challenging some of the misconceptions created about women in 2013 in the New Year and making a difference to the lives of more girls in school and our community.

For updates on empower you can check out this page, the school website and our new twitter page @empowersb which poses interesting questions and articles linked to the theme of feminism, education and the place of women in our 21st century world. Feel free to start a discussion and spread the word of ’empower’ as you explore these.

A final thanks must go to all parents, staff and governors who have continued to support ’empower’ through 2013. On behalf of all the team we wish you a very Happy New Year and hope that 2014 is a fabulous, successful and empowering year for you all 😉