The students at Hillcrest Shifnal School have had a successful and busy start to the year. As well as taking part in a range of fundraising activities for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the school have also been recognised for providing students with a positive learning environment via a Peaceful Project Award.
Hillcrest Shifnal School is an independent specialist school, which is run by Hillcrest and is part of Outcomes First Group. The school provides education, care and therapeutic services to children aged 7 to 19 with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
Fundraising initiatives at the secondary school were prompted by the discovery of a year 9 student’s hidden talents. The pupil, who is a budding DJ, was encouraged to perform at the school disco and chose to use this platform as an opportunity to raise money for his preferred charity, Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Further fundraising has since taken place for the Hospital at the European Telford Market where two pupils performed a selection of songs live on stage and via a Grand Charity Brunch which was organised by the school as an additional fundraiser. The total amount raised will be presented by staff and secondary school pupils to representatives from the Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the coming months.
In addition to the schools amazing fundraising efforts, students and staff from the primary school at Shifnal have been working on a separate project which has seen them achieve a Peaceful Project Award. This fantastic accolade is in recognition of a new environment that staff and students have created together. The ‘PPOD’, or ‘Peaceful Place Of De-escalation’ provides a quiet and peaceful area for students to go to when they need time to themselves, or when they are finding classroom activities challenging. The project has involved joint discussions into the themes, as well as ideas for relaxing activities. The Peaceful Project Award was presented to the school on 9th March by Anna Lubelska from The Peaceful Schools Strategy Group.
Laura Smith, Deputy Head of Primary at the school commented: “Students who attend Hillcrest Shifnal School have a range of complex needs, some will have associated learning difficulties and typically all will have encountered negative educational experiences or disruption, consequently lacking confidence. One of our main aims is to build emotional resilience and the ability to self-regulate. A stable and caring environment, ensures that every student at Shifnal School has the opportunity to develop their abilities, share new experiences and be supported in realising their potential.”
“This award is a fantastic achievement for students. Not only have they created an environment that will benefit every single individual, it will provide them with a comfortable and calming space to use if they need their own quiet time, as well as helping them to become excellent peacemakers both in and outside of school. Already we have seen students positively managing their own behaviour and accessing staff help in a positive way.”
David Coles, new Head Teacher at the school said: “I am so proud of all of our students. The fundraising and the peaceful project award has created a huge sense of achievement amongst the school and we will continue to work with students to keep up these exceptional achievements.”
The school aims to develop the ‘Peaceful Place Of De-escalation’ further, using it as an environment that can be used for reflection, as well as improving students confidence and social skills.
Anna Lubelska from The Peaceful Schools Strategy Group presenting the Peaceful Project Award.