Secondary school pupils have been recognised by LJMU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) Professor Phil Vickerman for demonstrating what respect means to them, and their school communities, as part of a creative competition.
Pupils from Kirkby High School and Outwood Academy Haydock designed a series of posters and wrote poems showcasing their own interpretations of respect and how that translates to the corridors and classrooms of their schools.
The idea was borne out of LJMU’s own commitment to ensuring all of its staff, students and the wider LJMU community would always feel respected and to always respect others - through the Respect, Always initiative.
Colleagues from LJMU’s Outreach and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion teams led the competition to connect with communities across Merseyside and were impressed by the entries from both schools. So much so, they were both declared winners and invited to attend a prize-giving at the end of a graduation ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral.
From Bubbles the happy and respectful cat that is aware of others privacy to rhyming poems that explained ‘respect is about being polite, accepting the fact you’re not always right’. The children showcased that they are already aware of the importance of respect and how they are embedding this into their everyday actions at school and at home, just as LJMU is doing across its campus.
Professor Phil Vickerman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, said: “As a university we take very seriously our commitment to ‘Respect, Always’. This includes not only our students and staff, but also our partners. I was so pleased to be part of the panel judging the children’s work and was impressed by the level of detail and consideration everyone had taken. Meeting the children at our graduation event was an opportunity for them to also see the work of LJMU and also to see what LJMU are doing to uphold our university values.”
Zuzu from Outwood Academy who thought up Bubbles the respectful cat said that it felt ‘very special’ to have been given her certificate on stage. Pupils from Kirkby High said that they had a ‘great time’ at the graduation ceremony and that ‘maybe one day we’ll be sitting up there’ as graduates, as they looked ahead to studying at university in the future.
Miss Critchley, teacher at Outwood Academy, said: “We run a young designers club every Thursday for enrichment afterschool, and my young designers took part in this challenge during a one-hour session. They did really and made some wonderful posters.
“They’ve learnt how to be friends and to work together as part of the young designers club anyway and that it’s super important to be respectful of each other in all of our work. It was brilliant being invited to see a graduation ceremony and to see what the next steps of our children could be.”
Both schools took away a £100 Amazon voucher as part of their prize, as well as individual goodie bags for each pupil.