Assessment Day at St Marychurch

Eleven year olds all over Torbay are being assessed this month to see if they have reached the standard necessary to be presented with the Torbay Civic Award. This month we look at the Assessment Day at St Marychurch CE Primary School through the eyes of the assessors.

The assessors were Gary Vine (The Civic Award’s website designer) Sheila Phillips and Cathy Gillard from Babbacombe and St Marychurch Rotary Club, Sue Matthews, Public Health Principal, and the editor of this very paper: Bob Myers. They arrived at 8:45 am to meet with twenty-seven very nervous children who were clutching files of evidence, photos, art portfolios and even drum sticks and a guitar! Each child met with one of the assessors on their own to let them know what they had been doing to achieve the award over the last twelve months.

Just to remind you: to achieve the award pupils have to prove their participation in five main areas. These are:

• Active Citizenship in their school community
• Active Citizenship in their home communities
• A physical hobby and a non-physical hobby
• Residential experience and adventure training
• Supporting a cause or charity which they feel strongly about

Sheila takes up the story… “As this was my first time of being an assessor I was probably as nervous as the children, but from the moment I spoke to the first child my nerves disappeared and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment! I was so impressed with how the children have thrown themselves into what they were doing charity-wise or sports-wise and the remarkable amount of patience and sense of pride they showed.”

“I really enjoyed the process and got so much out of it – it made me remember why I am in the job!” commented Sue Matthews. “The children were very inspirational and I haven’t stopped talking about it at work! Being an assessor gave me a chance to hear some positive stories about the contribution of children and young people to the local community. At such a young age, the children were so hardworking and so caring and empathetic about their peers. The skills they have been learning are life skills and so important.”

Cathy was particularly taken with the children’s accounts of their Peer Mentoring and Growth Mindset teaching to their peers. “I learned so much from them!” she added. “The benefits to the children are clearly enormous!” Gary and Bob reported that they were both equally impressed with not only the standard of the children’s presentations, but also their commitment in making a difference to other people’s lives.

The assessors all confided that they were not looking forward to the prospect of telling a child they had not been successful but they needn’t have worried. All children assessed were deemed to have achieved the award and invited to the Award Ceremony and After Party. (Read about this in next month’s column!) “We are pleased that they all passed with flying colours!” said Bob. “Congratulations to them all for their wonderful community spirit and charitable attitudes!”

And congratulations to all the children across Torbay who have already been successfully assessed! You are the sort of young people who will make a difference in our world!

This article featured in The Torbay Times Community Newspaper.