Primary and 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 St John Plessington Catholic Secondary School, St Edward’s College, St John Bosco Arts College and Riverside Primary School created artwork, videos 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 Diversity and Inclusion teams led the competition to connect with both primary and secondary schools across Merseyside and were impressed by the entries from all schools. The winning schools, St John Plessington Catholic Secondary School and Riverside Primary School, were joined by runners up St Edward’s College and St John Bosco Arts College, at a prize-giving at the end of a graduation ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral this week.
One of the winning entries from Riverside Primary School, who were represented by Year 5 pupils Archie and Louis at the prize-giving, had been inspired by a visit to the cathedral in which they created tinfoil sculptures for their winning entry. They looked at the art in the cathedral as a source of inspiration and the way that artists use pose to express grief or sadness or worship, the children went back to school and with the guidance of their art lead they created their own sculptures.
Mrs Elson, RE lead at Riverside Primary School, said: “We come from a mono-cultural area, so we develop [respect] not only through RE and PHE but also through other subjects. It was a great honour to be part of the competition and to actually win it was very exciting.” She added that the whole experience had helped to raise the aspirations of the pupils who are looking to the future and possibly coming to a university like LJMU one day themselves.
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 schoolchildren at our graduation event was an opportunity for them to also see the work of LJMU and to see what LJMU are doing to uphold our university values.”
In their entries 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.
Winning schools took away a £100 Amazon voucher as part of their prize, as well as individual goodie bags for each pupil.