“As one of two high schools in the town, we wanted to ensure that our pupils represented the school in the correct manner. This meant educating the children on the dangers of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and the long term effects this could have not only on their high school education but on their job prospects in a town where job opportunities can be hard to come by,” said Becci Siddall when nominating the project.
The school has always enjoyed a positive relationship with neighbouring Rhyl Football Club who play in the Welsh Premier League. The school approached the football club with the idea of using the football ground’s facilities to set up coaching sessions and lessons away from the school setting in order to curb the behaviour of some pupils who had been in trouble through ASB.
Meetings between the school and football club took place to try and establish a programme whereby the school could offer pupils a stimulating environment where they could enjoy themselves as well as being educated on ASB issues.
The main aim of this project was to see disengaged pupils who had become involved with ASB or were on the verge of becoming involved, fulfil their potential and become positive community members as well as excellent pupils. Having started in 2012, the ‘Strikers’ project is ongoing.
Pupils who otherwise would have become more and more involved with ASB were educated so that they changed their behaviour and became ambassadors for the school in the process. The work done between the school and the football club has drawn praise from far and wide with the project being described as ‘sector leading’.
“As well as educating children on ASB, pupils’ football skills improved and the project was expanded to incorporate extra teaching of numeracy and literacy to help pupils with their studies. The pupils were a lot better behaved in class which benefitted their class and classmates immensely,” added Becci.
The school has gone from strength to strength and is now the leading secondary education provider in Denbighshire having at one time been in special measures. This turnaround has been achieved the hard work of both staff and pupils and through incorporating initiatives such as this project. The school has seen its links with the community strengthened through its partnership with Rhyl FC. As a result of the pupils positive behaviour, the school’s reputation in the town continues to grow.
The work the school has done with the football club has not only elevated the school, but in 2013 the football club were named ‘Community Club of the Year’ by the FAW Trust which was a fantastic achievement and something the school were proud to have played a part in.