Students reaping rewards of ‘Grow Your Own’ leadership programme at city school

The ‘Grow Your Own’ programme sees Sixth Form students at Archbishop Blanch school help Years 7-11 with a variety of activities, including paired reading schemes, sports clubs and study support sessions. Andrew Wright reports.

Students at Archbishop Blanch School


The programme at the Smithdown Road school encourages sixth formers to help younger students and is enjoying tangible success.

Designed with both lower school students and sixth formers in mind, the ‘Grow Your Own’ programme helps students develop a range of skills needed for life after school, be that the world of work or higher education.

Currently, over 80 sixth form students take part in the leadership programme.

Archbishop Blanch alumni have returned to the school to share their knowledge and experiences. Most recently, former pupil Jess Redfern paid a visit to the school to talk about her apprenticeship experience at Unilever.

The initiative has been credited with fostering a ‘greater community ethos at the school’ and instilled in  participants a rise in confidence, organisation, patience, motivation and communication.

The programme is one of many ways Archbishop Blanch School promotes the importance of leadership skills.

Students also benefit from schemes such as the ‘Career Ready Programme’, with Year 12 students working with companies such as Santander and RSA Insurance Group.

And recently, Year 12 student Adiyta Majumdar won a place on the Headstart programme by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT). Adiyta is one of only 25 students who will spend up to a week at one of the top universities in the UK exploring the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Student Katie Gregory takes part in the ‘Grow Your Own’ programme by helping younger pupils develop their reading skills through the paired reading scheme.

She says: “It’s great to see younger students developing and understanding more and becoming fluent readers. This enrichment is really rewarding to do as you can see the progress that the students are making.

“Enrichment has also helped me as before I joined this Sixth Form I was really unsure of which career I wanted to go into. But I now know that I would love to do something related to this such as working in a nursery, or even opening up my own. It has given me a sense of direction and a goal to work towards.”

Headteacher Heather Duggan, adds: “We believe leadership is learned through the culture as much as the curriculum of a school, so an initiative like the Grow Your Own programme is a fantastic way to help our students develop new skills and become excellent role models and ambassadors for their school and wider community.”

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.