Children from schools across Sefton were treated to a hilarious and energetic story telling performance at Crosby Library to celebrate the launch of the Reading Agency’s, Summer Reading Challenge.
The challenge is a national scheme which Sefton libraries actively take part in every year, with around three thousand children getting involved. Statistically the borough is the number one performer in the North West for people completing the challenge successfully.
During the summer holidays literacy for children tends to drop because youngsters are not in school being actively encouraged to read. The aim of the challenge is to tackle this by encouraging children aged 4-11 to read books for fun during break.
After signing up to your local library you can complete the challenge by reading a total of six books. Children can read what ever they like – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. Young people receive a special reward every time they finish a book and there is a certificate for everyone who finishes.
This years theme is Mischief Makers and it coincides with 80 years of the Beano comic. To kick off the event children got to watch a modern telling of Dennis the Menace and his adventure to find the Mythical Pea Shooter.
Storyteller John Kirk brought the story to life with various wigs, accents and props. The interactive experience got all the children involved and the mere mention of the word water, led to a soaking from one of John’s many spray guns sending the young spectators into a frenzy.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“It’s brilliant that schools in Sefton actively encourage children to take part in the challenge year on year and the library staff do a brilliant job in keeping that going over the summer holidays.”
“It’s also great to have storytellers performing at the library. The energy and encouragement is a reminder to the children that reading can be one of the best things to do over the summer holidays and this always get the children exited for the challenge.”
To find out more information about the Summer Reading Challenge visit summerreadingchallenge.org.uk
To get information about your local library visit www.sefton.gov.uk/libraries
School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.
The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.
It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.
Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.
A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:
St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018. To be opened 11th July 2068.
The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.
Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.
Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.
Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.
“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”
Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.
“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”
“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.
“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.
“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.
“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”
The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line.
The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future.
It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.
The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail.
Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.
Young people from SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) have been making their voices heard over plans to improve Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) in schools.
The Department of Education is considering updating the existing Sex and Relationship guidance which was last revised in 2000.
At a recent SYMBOL meeting held at Bootle Town Hall, young people from across the borough discussed the topic.
Being a member of SYMBOL means a young person can play an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with key decision makers, such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council including representatives from Public Health. They meet three times a year at different locations across the borough.
At the meeting young people talked about their experiences of sex education in school and gave advice on how it can be changed to be more effective. They believed that they would benefit more by having discussions about thoughts, feelings and the various issues surrounding relationships.
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, was at the meeting. He said: “Some great points were raised by the young people attending the meeting.
“As a new curriculum in SRE and PSHE is shaped, it is important that we listen to young people’s views and experiences in order to make lessons relevant to them and their needs.
“Young people believed that some teachers may be embarrassed when talking about the subject and understand it may be difficult for them to make the transition from teaching their usual curriculum subject, to having open discussions about sex and relationships. Advice like this is really relevant and will be shared with Public Health.”
During the meeting there was a performance from Access27, a theatre company which portrays the issues which effect young people. The hard hitting ‘Like Glue’ exposed relationship abuse in 5 scenarios including domestic abuse and controlling behaviour. This creative and emotive piece brought the issues to life, leaving a lasting impression on the room.
Also on the agenda and keeping to the important topic of sex and relationships, young people and key figures took part in a session which raised awareness of the increase of on-line sexual abuse and e-safety. The workshop gave a greater understanding of how to spot the warning signs that a young person is being targeted and how to report any incidents.
For more information visit: www.consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/ and www.listentomystory.co.uk
To get involved in SYMBOL contact Rob Hancock on 07792 315 890
Do you have some spare time on your hands during the school holidays or any evenings or weekends free? Would you be interested in helping disabled youngsters have fun in inclusive settings across Sefton?
If so you could really make a difference to peoples’ lives. As part of Sefton Council’s Year of the Volunteer campaign, we are encouraging residents to consider volunteering for Aiming High. This is a very important service which gives support to children and young people with disabilities and their families.
All year round the dedicated team provide specially tailored sessions which young people can access. This includes sport activities, outside play, music, dance and so much more!
As we approach the school summer holidays, Aiming High are looking for more volunteer helpers for their summer programme which is packed full of fun and engaging things to do.
This will be a great experience for anyone who wants to join in and have some fun with amazing young people and staff.
It’s also an excellent opportunity for school leavers or students who want to work in a similar field such as social care, teaching or as a sports instructor.
Don’t worry about your experience as full training is given. If you’re interested and want further information contact the Aiming High team on 0151 288 6816
Check out our featured video below with the Aiming High team. We caught up with Laura Cunningham who has been one of our amazing volunteers. She helps out twice a week in our after school club for children with severe learning difficulties. She has now gained employment with Aiming High for the summer programme.