In 2016 Fiona Clark, Head of Year Sevens at the Business Academy, Bexley was nominated for a Jack Petchey Leader Award.
Fiona's commitment to students and staff is second to none. She annually organises a Summer Holiday Club for students who will start at the secondary school in the new academic year. This enables new students to meet their future classmates and make new friends before they start in September. Fiona also organises an overnight camping trip in September for the new students in order to build their confidence and develop their team building skills. One student, Steve, praised the summer club, saying “I attended the Year 7 Summer Club before starting at the academy. I met new people and made new friends. Miss Clark took us on lots of trips and it made me unafraid about joining a new school.”
Fiona also led a charity programme to raise money for the Rotary Shoe Box challenge, which was a great success. The students thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the experience and it has given them a great insight into supporting the local and global community. Daisy said “I enjoyed this experience to meet others and to be able to help others in my community and all around the world, thank you Miss Clark.”
Fiona’s Leader Award also enabled the Business Academy to apply for a £750 Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation. The school used the grant to cover the transportation costs to the overnight camping trip in September 2016 for the new Year Sevens at the Wild-Child activity centre in Herefordshire. This made the trip more affordable and accessible for the whole year group.
The students took part in a variety of activities such as bush craft, making bug hotels and learning survival skills. They took part in a night time walk where they explored nocturnal wildlife and finished each day with a singsong around the campfire.
The trip was a huge hit with the students, Benjamin said “It was good on the night walk. We were walking, then we stopped and Kieran got out his bat detector and we could hear the noises that the bats were making. I would love to come back to Wild-Child because I made new friends here.”
Lev said, “I hoovered the leaves and really enjoyed bush crafting, it was my favourite bit. I built a tent that I could sit in with a tree stump for a table and left a water bottle and acorns for the squirrels.”
The residential gave the students a chance to gain knowledge about the natural world through exploration and encouraged them to take personal responsibility for their environment. It also enabled them to develop positive relationships with each other, improve their confidence and participate in new activities in outdoor spaces.
This was all possible thanks to the hard work of Fiona Clark, with support from the Jack Petchey Foundation.
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