The HeadStart Mascot Competition Judging and Celebration Event

To mark Mental Health Awareness Month, the HeadStart Schools Team have been running a competition for pupils in HeadStart primary schools to design a new mascot to be used to brand HeadStart activities for primary-age children. Pupils had to design a mascot, and explain how their design reflects the aims of HeadStart in improving the emotional well-being and resilience of young people.

The competition received over 130 entries, and yesterday we brought together children from some of the schools that had participated to a celebration and judging event at one of our HeadStart secondary schools, Moreton Community School.

Pupils from the following schools were able to attend:

  • Bushbury Hill Primary
  • Bantock Primary
  • Trinity CE Primary
  • SS Mary and St. John's Catholic Primary Academy
  • Bilston CE Primary

During the day, the children participated in a wide range of interactive activities, including drama, role-play, and team building games. Activities were led by Dave Hill from Sumo, and members of the wonderful HeadStart Schools Team. We were also pleased to be joined by Felicity from The Big Lottery Fund, and Councillor Claire Darke.

Great feedback!

Great feedback!

During the day, the children also met with the competition judges, to whom they had to explain their design, and how it met the brief of reflecting what HeadStart is all about.

Following a very difficult judging process, our judges - Kevin Pace (Head of Service, HeadStart), Gavin Hawkins (Head of the Learning Technologies Team), Howard Jobber (Public Health) and Tess Radcliffe (Wolverhampton Art Gallery) - chose Maruta's entry from Trinity CE Primary School. Maruta explained eloquently that her entry, called Resifibi, is the perfect mascot because she:

  • Is a hiker, who has stumbled many times trying to get to the top of the mountain.
  • She never, ever gives up. She is very resilient!
  • She learns from her mistakes
Resifibi - the winning entry!

Resifibi - the winning entry!

The day was a great success, with some wonderful feedback from the young people and teachers who attended.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the competition with us!

Some of the other fantastic entries


HeadStart Mascot Competition winners to be announced

May was Mental Health Awareness month and the HeadStart Schools team wanted to promote positive mental health and emotional well-being in a fun, inspiring and engaging way. 

They invited HeadStart Primary School pupils to design their very own HeadStart Resilience Mascot, to show what resilience looks like to them. The aim was to design a character mascot that gave positive encouragement to peers across the city. Nine schools participated, and 133 entries have been narrowed down to 10 entries per school across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. All entries were outstanding and have captured the hearts of all the staff at HeadStart! The imaginations of our young people in Wolverhampton is amazing and we are so lucky to have so much talent across the city.

A judging and awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 22nd June at Moreton School  to celebrate the young pupil’s efforts, dedication and achievements. Good luck to everyone who submitted an entry!

Schools Team launch HeadStart Mascot competition for Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the HeadStart team are out and about in schools and the community to work with young people and families:

To support Mental Health Awareness Week, the HeadStart Schools Team have shared resources with primary schools in our four target geographical areas in the city to encourage class discussion with children about resilience, and supporting their emotional well-being.

The Schools Team have also launched a HeadStart Mascot design competition. Children are being asked to design a mascot that HeadStart will use to promote our work in primary schools - the mascot will also feature in curriculum materials that the team are developing for use in schools from September.

Here are some images of some early entries from Bilston CE Primary School. Fantastic!

Tweet your support for Mental Health Awareness Week using the hashtag #mhaw17

HeadStart Curriculum development day - developing a whole-school approach to emotional well-being

Yesterday, HeadStart teams worked together for the day to continue development of a whole school curriculum and approach to emotional well-being that will be rolled out to Wolverhampton schools from September 2017. The session was supported and delivered by:

  • The HeadStart Schools Team
  • The HeadStart YPEC and Community teams
  • Dave Hill and Ed Hollamby from SUMO (Stop, Understand, Move On)
  • Educational consultants Carol Davies and Jo Kinder
  • Members of staff from Stafford Manor High School, led by Headteacher, Jude Slack

The session was kindly hosted in the new multi-agency centre (MACS Place) and conference facility at Stafford Manor, which the school has refurbished to support local young people and families.

An inspirational day, reconnecting us all with what is important in our schools.
— Jude Slack, Headteacher, Stafford Manor High School

The group refined ideas for curriculum mapping and agreed a framework for the delivery of a new well-being curriculum, incorporating multiple themes including SUMO. The philosophies of the new curriculum and approach are informed by extensive consultation with Wolverhampton schools over the last few months.

An afternoon of collaboration, creativity, and content-focussed lesson planning made significant progress in developing the Autumn Term PSHE curriculum for Year 7.

SUMO animations created alongside The University of Wolverhampton, will be integrated into the curriculum.

By the end of the day, the team had also agreed frameworks which individual schools will tailor to their values and priorities in the forthcoming 'Getting A HeadStart In Schools' curriculum afternoon on 18th May. HeadStart schools have been invited to book places for this event - check your email inboxes for invitations, or contact a member of the HeadStart Schools' team. 

HeadStart Schools Engagement Event - Wednesday 22nd March

On Wednesday 22nd March, the HeadStart Schools Team brought together Wolverhampton headteachers, senior leaders, and other key staff from schools to an evening Schools Engagement event at Colton Hills Secondary School.

The schools invited to attend came from four key areas of the city for HeadStart, selected on the basis of a needs analysis performed for our phase 3 Big Lottery Bid in 2016.

The four areas are:

  1. Low Hill, Bushbury South and The Scotlands
  2. Heath Town, Springfield, Park Village, Old Heath and Eastfield
  3. Bilston East
  4. Blakenhall, All Saints, Parkfields and Ettingshall

Representatives from 18 schools (primary, secondary, special and PRU) attended the session. Where schools were unable to attend, the Schools’ team will be going out to meet them over the coming weeks; a number of these meetings had already preceded the meeting.

The event provided an opportunity for schools within all four designated areas to meet The HeadStart Schools Team and to learn how HeadStart will support them in delivering a new curriculum and in carrying out initial screenings, audits and evaluations with young people.

The event began with a brief introduction from the Head of Service for HeadStart, Kevin Pace. Kevin provided an overview of the development of the HeadStart programme, and introduced delegates to the information and resources in the ‘goody bags’ provided for them to take away.

Kevin then handed over to Dave Hill from SUMO (Stop, Understand, Move On), who gave an interactive and engaging overview of SUMO as a core part of the HeadStart schools’ curriculum. Dave’s workshop included lots of opportunities for discussion between colleagues working in schools in the same geographic areas … it also included a brief, dramatic appearance by our Sumo Apprentice aka Emerson from our Media and Comms team.

Dave looked at the following SUMO themes, and how SUMO thinking can support young people in changing their thinking and behaviours:

  • Change your T-Shirt
  • Remember the Beachball
  • Fruity Thinking
  • Hippo Time is OK
  • Learn Latin
  • Dare to Dream (Ditch Doris Day)

As part of the ‘Change your T-Shirt’ theme, delegates were asked to ‘graffiti’ the back of HeadStart t-shirts with a list of challenges for the young people they work with. Some of the key issues that were identified were:

  • Bullying
  • GCSEs / team stress / pressure to succeed
  • Safeguarding
  • Online issues: sexting, cyberbullying, access to inappropriate content
  • Self-harm
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Safeguarding
  • Anxiety
  • Low aspirations
  • Lack of confidence
  • Security
  • Parental and family issues
  • Peer pressure
  • Domestic violence

At the end of Dave’s session, delegates were asked to reflect on HeadStart and the SUMO principles and write on the front of their t-shirts how they believe HeadStart will help improve their school. Their T-shirt graffiti referenced themes including:

  • Out of school activities
  • Parental engagement
  • Community inclusion
  • Mentoring for students
  • Change mindset
  • Improving emotional well being
  • Happy, healthy, resilient and caring students
  • Allowing for integration and reintegration
  • Raising aspirations
  • Supporting students in being inspired by their dreams

To complete the session, Emma Tomblin, Senior HeadStart Schools Coordinator looked ahead to the next steps for schools in Wolverhampton:

  • The ongoing development of a new schools’ curriculum, for launch in September 2017. Schools will shortly be invited to a curriculum development overview meeting in mid-May, to contribute to this development process and understand the approach to the curriculum.
  • The process for the national evaluation survey, to be completed by all Year 7 students in secondary and special schools in the four target areas.

Feedback from the meeting was really positive. Here is some of the feedback from school staff that attended:

  • "It was great to meet the teams and to identify what is needed in our locality"
  • Kids are so enthusiastic. Only great things can happen!
  • I was slightly anxious at first to see how it would fit in but now I’m feeling optimistic
  • Feeling positive about how much HeadStart has developed
  • Exactly what our school needs!
  • Looking forward to up-skilling our staff and developing consistency across the school

The HeadStart Schools Team would like to say thank you to all of the schools who attended the event and a huge thank you to Colton Hills Secondary School for hosting the event. Don’t forget to:

We are all very excited about what's to come and look forward to working with you all!

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