Have a read of our nomination and then watch the video.
Describe the nominee in five words
Inspiring. Innovative. Achieving Together. Community.
Why the nominee should be shortlisted
Bidston Avenue Primary School's staff are committed to providing the best opportunities possible for the school's children. Through an innovative curriculum; inspiring role models, topics and work; incredible opportunities to visit our local area, London and beyond; and a range of opportunities to develop skills and passions outside the normal school day; the school encourages and empowers its children to become active members of their community, with aspirations to 'dream big'.
In recent years, the school has taken significant strides forward to help provide opportunities for children and staff, involving their work in and outside the classroom, but with the focus remaining on our school motto 'achieving together'. Some examples of this include the amazing work of our PE and Sport Team and the successes the children have enjoyed; the work the school has done to support local schools, offering workshops, visits and opportunities to share best practice; and the range of opportunities the children have to engage with members of the local community and become active in it.
Reasons behind the nomination
We understand that for our children, school is as much a place of learning as it is stability, safety, and nurturing. Our inspirational curriculum and after-school clubs offer children the chance to find their ‘sweet spot’, an area/subject that fascinates, engages and helps to inspire them as learners. Whether this be memorable learning experiences in the classroom, at an after-school club, or during a residential visit, we really believe that these ‘magic moments’ develop the whole child, and as such we love them!
Whilst it is obvious to say that community is integral to our school, it really is. We are an outward looking school that engages with local community members and uses social media to connect with other schools, experts and other interested parties on national and international levels. The opportunities created from these links, mean that we can enrich the children’s time at Bidston Avenue, with activities that not only help to inspire them and raise their aspirations, but which will help to improve our local community too.
Children are at the heart of everything we do. Inspiring them to become confident, effective and skilled leaders of tomorrow is in our community’s and nation’s interest. We start early by encouraging children to apply for different roles in school, from becoming an eCadet, member of eco club, the school council, or to be a digi-champ (digital leader). Playtimes and lunchtimes see groups of children working with younger children to help keep them active and keep break times fun, as play leaders and mini-whistlers. We also have a team of Youth Sport Trust Young Ambassadors, who help to design programmes of activities for younger children to take part in.
PE and sport play a significant part of life at Bidston Avenue. Each night, a number of after-school clubs run offering children the chance to try out different sports and develop their skills. Coaches from local sports clubs help to deliver some of these clubs, but also team teach with staff, developing their skills too. Our teams have been successful at a number of competitions and tournaments, and we our commitment to PE and sport was recognised last year, when we came runners-up in the ‘outstanding commitment to PE and sport in primary school’ category of the Educate Awards 2016. In recent weeks, a group of our children have competed in sports hall athletics competitions, representing Wirral at the Merseyside finals. A group of eight children also represented Wirral at heats in Crewe and Widnes, before five were selected for the Merseyside squad, to compete in the regional finals in Manchester. In football, our Y6 team progressed to Liverpool FC's regional finals, where they progressed through the group stages unbeaten and made it to the final, having overcome a tense penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals. A dominant, team performance resulted in the team winning the finals, meaning they will represent Liverpool FC at the Premier League Schools' Tournament, at Stamford Bridge, in May, much to their delight!
We work closely with other schools, sharing best practice, hosting workshops and events such as KidsMeets. This means we can innovate and develop our approaches to learning and teaching. Our immersive room has been an incredible resource to help inspire and set alight the children’s imaginations, and is one such way of innovating learning. Being able to literally travel across the globe (and beyond!) in seconds to explore new places as part of our topic work, to find out about a place before we go and visit it, or to hear the sounds and see the sights of different periods of history, is inspiring and unleashes a whole realm of possibilities.
Our Year 3 children visit Barnstondale for an overnight stay. For some, this is their first time away from home and parents, but with such a packed two days, they have little time to realise this. Children take part in team-building activities and challenges, ranging from archery to ‘night line’ walks. On a three-day stay over in London, our Y4 children stay on board HMS Belfast, moored on the Thames. They visit some of the capital’s most iconic buildings such as the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye and many more sites. After sending some persuasive letters to the Prime Minister, they will visit Downing Street and pose for photographs outside the famous black door of Number 10. To top last year's visit off, we celebrated ‘all things British’ by lining The Mall for Trooping the Colour, celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s official 90th birthday. In Year 5, our children have the opportunity to visit Oaklands Outdoor Education Centre, for a fun-packed five days of gorge walking, rock climbing, canoeing, exploring mines and much more. Their confidence, determination, teamwork and leadership skills grow as the visit progresses, as each activity challenges the children to realise they are stronger and able to do more, when they work together.
Even with our immersive room, there is no better way to experience a place than to visit it. This is why Year 6’s visit to France and the battlefields of the Somme is such a poignant trip. Children study the horrors of the First World War before they undertake their visit and then come face-to-face with the now peaceful sites of remembrance, which 100 years ago were anything but peaceful. Before they leave the battlefields, each child lays a remembrance poem, which they have written, at a graveside. The visit then moves on to a French town and market, where the children practise their French, to buy items and speak with the locals.