In 2018 Ormiston Rivers Academy and Ormiston Victory Academy were recipients of the Chairman’s Social Action Award at the Ormiston Academies Trust annual awards ceremony. The grant aims to fund projects which benefit students and/or members of the community. Let’s see how they’re doing a year on…
Winner – Ormiston Rivers Academy
Miss Marable’s aim was to create a ‘Mental Wellbeing’ space within the Academy. This has been firmly achieved with an old detention room being transformed into a peaceful and calm safe space for students to come and find support.
The project has been so successful that Miss Marable’s new responsibility is now ‘Director of Wellbeing’. She spoke of how the work has developed over the past year:
‘A key thing we have implemented in the space is the ‘Wellbeing Warriors’ where a group of sixth formers have volunteered to be mentors to the younger years. They manage the space every break and lunch with supervision from myself and other staff. It is a safe space for every student to use when in need of support for issues such as bullying, stress & bereavement.’
‘The space has become a vital part of our work to help students to build resilience which leads to more focus in the classroom and better life chances.’
The room is used every day by the students in various capacities including a Young Carers support session and it is also used by the school counsellor.
For more information about this project and to see a fantastic video please visit: http://www.ormistonriversacademy.co.uk/wellbeing
Runner up – Ormiston Victory Academy
Ormiston Victory’s project outlined plans to restore a shed and transform it into a bike shop, where students can repair and sell on bicycles under supportive supervision. The aim was to engage students who may not always respond well to academic subjects and encourage them to learn practical and business skills.
One student spoke of how the project had impacted him ‘I can see it now but I was a complete pain and I would not listen to any teachers and I am sorry to say that I also swore a lot.’
‘When the bike shed started Mr Robinson had a few ground rules for instance safety always comes first and always be on time and polite to each other. Mr Robinson was so happy with my hard work that he made me supervisor in the bike shed.’
‘I am now going for an interview with a motor car tyre company and I will get a two-year apprenticeship. I don’t think I would have been able to get this if it was not for the bike shed’.
‘It has certainly improved my behaviour and attendance. It’s a great opportunity and I think it would help all schools if they had this.’
Paul Robinson, who supervises this project, reported how 90% of the students involved have improved their attendance and behaviour. The project has now led to a brand new BTEC in engineering which the students are getting involved in.
Thanks to the initial funding of this project which went towards the purchasing of vital equipment, there are now thirty bikes that the students can work on. The plan is for these to then be sold into the community and the money raised will continue to sustain the project for years to come.