Rainford Summer Term News

BBC showcases Rainford High’s dedicated ADHD provision

Rainford High has been chosen by the BBC for a documentary looking at young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and how schools are supporting the condition.

The school’s work with the ADHD Foundation focuses on a coordinated approach around students who have the condition. It involves working with parents, developing teachers, as well as supporting students in ways that makes their school experience positive.

The short documentary, which is available online, responds to questions from parents as to how some secondary schools aren’t supporting children with ADHD enough.

Rainford High is positioned as a school that is trying to take a different and effective approach to support the children and families who live with this condition

It interviews the Principal, Ian Young, who gives a tour of the contemporary school, highlighting the facilities it offers students with ADHD.

The BBC also speaks with Kate Thomas, Special Educational Needs Coordinator at Rainford High, and parents of two students who praise the school for its nurturing approach.

In the documentary, the ADHD Foundation said: “Rainford High has a unique culture that champions neurodiversity and inclusion.”

Ian Young, Principal of Rainford High, said “We are delighted to have been involved with this project. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that every child who attends Rainford High has a great educational experience.

“Inclusivity and diversity sit at the heart of the school ethos of ‘Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps and Everyone Succeeds’.  As a community we need to support all the young people in having an education that adds value to them both academically and developmentally. As a whole, schools need to change and adapt to make sure we can achieve this goal for everyone.”

The documentary can be watched on the BBC news website.

 Rainford High is an 11-18 school with just over 1600 students who achieve good exam results at both the end of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The school has a strong ethos of ‘Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps and Everyone Succeeds’ which the staff and pupils continually work to make this the day-to-day focus of the school.


Meet the Rainford High student who is St Helens’ Member of Youth Parliament

Ben Lomas, a year 9 student at Rainford High, was recently elected to be the Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for St Helens.

This important role calls on Ben to represent young people’s views and concerns from the local area on a national level.

Speaking about the campaign, Ben said: “I first began campaigning for the role from January 2019, and me and Mrs Quinn, senior learning support assistant at Rainford High, devised a campaign strategy for the next two months – the election week was in March.

“Firstly, we constructed my manifesto which set out my policies and plans for my two-year term if I was elected. The policies that were prominent in my manifesto were making transport and leisure cheaper and more accessible for young people across the borough of St Helens and ending the scourge of knife crime which has become a major issue for young people not only in our town but across the nation.

Ben continued: “Having finalised my manifesto and having submitted it to the St Helens Council who monitored the MYP Elections, I then focused on campaigning and ways in which to engage young people in the process of the MYP election. Mrs Quinn and I, who worked tirelessly to support me, decided that the best campaign plan would be to focus on gaining the maximum number of votes from my school, and so with help from our School Council, we visited forms in Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 and we also campaigned in the Rainford Sixth Form College. The encouragement and support I received was truly amazing.”

Ben also visited four local primary schools Billinge Chapel End, Billinge St Aidan’s, Willowtree and Sutton Manor, in order to gain votes from students who were 11 years or older as the  rules of the election state that only 11-18-year olds are eligible to vote.

Ben added: “As voting closed, we waited with great anticipation for the result of the vote. I won with over 30% of all votes received!”

Reflecting on the election, Ben said: “I am honoured and privileged to be able to accept the role as MYP for St Helens and I am elated to represent young people from our borough in meetings in St Helens, Wigan, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Ambleside and London.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that voted for me and I will do everything I can to make your voices heard and represent you well.”

Helen Quinn from Rainford High, who supported Ben during his campaign, said: “Everyone here at the school is so incredibly proud of Ben. He has invested a lot of time, hard work and dedication into this and it is wonderful to see that it has paid off.”

Nazia Nabi, participation and citizenship youth worker at St Helens Youth Council, added: “Ben joined the St Helens Youth Council in January 2018 and from the beginning he has always been enthusiastic and passionate about issues that affect young people in St Helens. I am delighted that he has been voted as St Helens MYP and believe that he will endeavour to deliver on his Manifesto promises.”

The United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) is a national organisation through which young people campaign to make positive changes for their peers across the country.

St Helens is entitled to have one Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) and one Deputy. In total, 17 young people put themselves forward.

Morgen Lamb from Hope Academy will take on the role as Deputy MYP.

Rainford High’s student council looks to improve school canteen

The proactive student council at Rainford High have been taking matters into their own hands when it comes to the canteen provision at their school.

Andrew Ferguson, executive development chef at School Meals Service, St Helens, visited the school to meet with the council to discuss the current service and listen to students’ ideas on where it could be improved.

Top of the agenda was how healthy options should be displayed more prominently to encourage students to opt for lunches and snacks that are better for them.

The council suggested alternatives such as plain popcorn, raisins, melon and wholemeal toast should be on offer. They also proposed posters detailing the sugar, fat and calorie content for products should be put up around the canteen.

Andrew Ferguson and students also discussed ways in which the school can reduce its food and plastic waste. Members of the council considered teaming up with local farmers to use the food waste for animal feed and other environmentally friendly agricultural needs.

As Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has urged all schools to stop using single-use plastic items by 2020, Andrew Ferguson told students that this is a priority and at present St Helens Council are considering all viable alternatives to support the government initiative.

The student council suggested other smaller changes, for example, replacing cling film for foil in the canteen would significantly reduce plastic use.

Thomas in Year 10, is part of the student council. He said:  “Mr Ferguson’s visit was interesting and constructive as he elaborated upon all standards, giving detailed insight and information concerning the future healthy and sustainability targets set by St Helens Council.

“We look forward to building a productive and rewarding relationship with the School Meals Service and will continue to offer ideas and suggestions to improve the provisions offered to Rainford High students and staff.”

Rainford High is an 11-18 school with just over 1600 students who achieve good exam results at both the end of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The school has a strong ethos of ‘Everyone Matters, Everyone Helps and Everyone Succeeds’ which the staff and pupils continually work to make this the day-to-day focus of the school.

Egg-ceptional fundraising efforts by Rainford High

The caring students and staff at Rainford High have once again held their annual Easter Challenge in a bid to raise money and collect Easter eggs for local charities.

This year they set themselves an ambitious target of £1000 and aimed to gather 500 Easter eggs.

Staff and students from Year 7 to Sixth Form managed to raise an impressive total of £1,101 and accumulated over 500 eggs.

In addition, Rainford High held a ‘wear your trainers to school’ day which offered students the chance to come in their own trainers in exchange for a monetary donation.

Their hard work will benefit a range of local charities, including Willowbrook Hospice, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, The Hope Centre, Teardrops, Chrysalis Centre for Change, as well as St Helens Young Carers, Four Seasons Health Care, Rainford Victoria Care Home and Orchard Care Homes.

Ian Young, principal at Rainford High, said: “Our Easter Challenge has become a popular tradition within the school. It is wonderful to see everyone’s determination to make a difference and help vital causes in the area.”