Pocklington School has been named as the winner of the Educate North Community Engagement Award (Schools) in a ceremony celebrating best practice and excellence in the education sector. The prestigious awards ceremony, which was delayed from March 2020, was held virtually on Thursday 23 April and was attended by education establishments from across the North of England.
27 awards were unveiled at the ceremony as Educate North celebrated its highest number of entries since its launch in 2015.
The Award presented to Pocklington School recognised its dynamic community engagement programme, which includes schools outreach activities, a student community action programme and its support of Chatta, an early year’s initiative focussed on communication and language skills.
Its Schools Outreach Programme works with 25 infant, junior and senior schools in the local area, sharing with them experience, facilities and expertise. The Programme began following discussions with the Head Teachers at several of the schools to assess areas of need and is reviewed annually to adapt to changing situations.
The Programme includes a range of activities including an annual Primary Schools Maths Challenge, sports masterclasses, mock interviews for medical and veterinary students, DT workshops and science competitions. GCSE and A level students are invited to attend symposiums on specialist topics and the schools’ fee assistance scheme is widely promoted throughout the area. Several members of staff are governors in maintained sector schools and many assist in community projects.
As part of Pocklington Schools’ Student Community Action Programme, students visit local primary schools to assist in classrooms, make social visits to senior citizens and residents in local day care centres and volunteer for conservation projects. There is also a student-led Charity Committee which raises funds for local and international charities, a bi-annual charity expedition to Southern Africa where students complete building renovation work and a thriving Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme which includes students volunteering for local organisations and charities.
Pocklington School hosts and is the development partner of Chatta, an award-winning app which is making a significant impact on the communication skills of early years learners, particularly across the North. It supports its use in the wider community to help overcome the societal trend away from verbal engagement where children can start school unable to communicate effectively. In 2020 Chatta joined with The Shine Trust and Hull City Council to introduce it to 12 primary schools in disadvantaged areas and has also been used in a local senior school to help refugee children and their families master the English language.
Toby Seth, Headmaster, Pocklington School said: “Not only does this award fill us with a great sense of pride, it also very much reflects the type of school Pocklington is. We are embedded in and deeply committed to our community and our commitment to engaging with our community is central to who we are. For this to be recognised in this way is testimony to the hard work that pupils and staff put into honouring this long-held tradition at Pocklington. This accolade will also serve as motivation to continue this work well into the future.”