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Wilding Schools first in person assembly!

Katie Underwood
November 22, 2023

On the 20th of October 2023, the Wilding Schools team had the opportunity to deliver our first in-person assembly! It was an inspiring and joyful visit to St Vincent's, a specialist school for sensory impairments in Liverpool.

About St Vincent’s –

St Vincent's is a school which caters for pupils from ages 5-19 offering both day schooling and residential boarding, allowing spaces for pupils from across the country. St Vincent's is the only church school in England for visually impaired children, and they celebrate faith and traditions of all the pupils which attend the school.

St Vincent's are very environmentally active, and their pupils have had the opportunity to take part in numerous projects including growing plants for RHS Tatton Flower shows, and even attended COP26 in Glasgow to have their voices heard to protect the planet!

The Assembly! –

We presented our assembly in the schools chapel to 47 pupils, a mix of both secondary and primary ages. The assembly has been adapted to include a range of interactive elements and was tailored to the needs of the pupils, many of which are fully to partially sighted. As such, we tweaked our delivery to utilize a range of sounds to assist the speaking elements of our presentation and made sure that where we had used imagery on slides that this was verbally described too.

To engage the children throughout the session, we incorporated interactive activities, including asking the pupils to raise their hands if they thought nature needed saving, or having a mini statistics quiz about the percentage of various species declines.

As a team we also bought a range of foraged items for the pupils to touch and feel, which we handed out in the middle of the assembly. This ranged from lavender to smell and touch, to buzzard feathers, snail shells and even daffodil bulbs – which some of the pupils ended up taking home with them! But the most well received of those items was the miniature pond (created inside a Tupperware box, with water, pondweed and pebbles). We made this pond to replicate the types of ambitious projects the pupils could create at their school to introduce wildlife to their school grounds.

After the Assembly –

After the assembly, we had a tour of the school grounds by the school’s principal John and Penny the school dog, we were taken around to see what they have wilded so far. We were shown their wildflower lawns, their orchard space and areas where they are trying to remove concrete and green areas. We also were taken to the areas where they grow their own plants and taken to a polytunnel full of pumpkins, where we were gifted a pumpkin to take home!

Overall, the first in person assembly was a big success and we can’t wait for more assemblies and to see how the Wilding Schools project progresses!

The Wilding Schools project and wider Green Schools Revolution programme is made possible thanks to the #will Fund and is proud to be part of the #iwillmovement – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.