Please see below some of the ways that we work in harmony with the local community. We aim to foster good links with all our local partners. If you are a community group or a local business that would like to work with us, then please contact Jennifer McIntyre via the school office.
Schools often collaborate with community partners to enrich pupils' educational experiences. These partnerships can take various forms, such as work experience, mentorship programs, or joint projects. Community partners provide real-world expertise and resources that enhance classroom learning, while schools offer pupils opportunities to apply their knowledge in practical settings. This symbiotic relationship fosters a sense of civic engagement and prepares pupils for future success by connecting their education to the broader community.
Here at Merstone School we appreciate the importance of pupils having access to a broad and rich curriculum within the classroom which enables them to grow and develop at their own pace. However, we also recognise the importance of all of our pupils having an opportunity to develop their skills within the local community to enrich their educational experiences.
Some ways in which we encourage community links are:
- Colebridge Trust – Unit 21
Colebridge Trust is a local social enterprise, providing work based mentoring to help people tackle barriers on the pathway to employment. They encourage self-help and can provide careers guidance. Unit 21 provide work experience for young people in our Diamonds department.
- Colebridge Trust – Around Again Project
The ‘Around Again’ project which is led by the Colebridge Trust is a local social supermarket. It provides food in a dignified way to families experiencing food poverty. Pupils within our Diamond department have the opportunity (where suitable) to take part in supported work experience placements.
- Colebridge Trust – Evergreen Family Centre
Also part of Colebridge Trust, Evergreen Family Centre support local families by providing stay and play sessions and family events. We are making plans for some of our Merstone Pupils to attend work experience placements there developing communication skills and independence. Evergreen Family Centre are currently undergoing a massive refurbishment and we look forward to working with them in the future.
- Moneysense (National Schools Partnership)
Merstone School have started to conduct moneysense workshops for pupils in our Diamonds department. Moneysense work together with Natwest to provide fun, interactive workshops for pupils that aim to teach young people about money matters, the value and how we use money, budgeting, fraud prevention and finding ways to be more economical to save the money and the planet. This helps to build confidence and resilience with money and how to deal with money in later life. Pupils engage in fun activities that reinforce positive messages for dealing with money.
Workshop titles include:
Work Shop Title
Content / aim
Super Smoothie Workshop
Introduces pupils to the concepts of enterprise, buying, selling and budgeting in a series of group activities involving setting up a smoothie shop.
How we use Money
Helps pupils learn that there are choices about what to do with money: it can be spent, saved or donated. It also explores the difference between needs and wants.
Save our pennies, save our planet
Engages pupils with ways to save money through choosing more environmentally friendly behaviours in the home. Pupils will learn about the benefits of renewable energy and explore daily activities that use a lot of energy.
Fraud Scene Investigators.
Requires pupils to help solve a fraud which has been committed against their friend. They are then asked to create and present a report warning others of the dangers of identity theft and fraud.
- DHL (TACS)
Trucks and Child Safety (TACS) is a national safety training programme run by the DHL UK Foundation and employees of DHL in the UK. It aims to help keep young children safe around larger vehicles on the road by educating primary school children as they start to travel independently.
Annually, Merstone pupils engage in an outside workshop. DHL representatives visit school with an artic lorry. They conduct workshops engaging pupils in learning about what blind spots are and where they are for the driver of a lorry. They promote safe travel around these vehicles. This type of practical learning is practical and very memorable for our pupils.
- Barclays Life Skills / Talent Foundary
Pupils in our Diamonds department engage with sessions provided from the Talent Foundry. These sessions are focussed on building self-confidence and resilience as they begin to plan their post 19 placements whether that is work or college.
Topic areas can include:
- The journey to your career
- Exploring Personal Strengths
- Self confidence
- Understanding Workplace Behaviours
Merstone are proud to be able to invite Bikeability into school to support our students to Learn to Ride bikes and become Road Safe! Bikeability typically is conducted in school in the summer term to support pupils across the school no matter how well they can or cannot control a bike yet.
- Shirley Golf
Stuart Bottrill – PGA professional at Shirley Golf Club invites pupils from Merstone School to have whole class golf lessons. These lessons are accessible for all and this is an amazing opportunity for our students to learn a new sport, taught by a professional!
- Hereward College Sporting Events
Throughout the year many of our students have an opportunity to attend Hereward College to take part in a range of sporting events. These may be athletics, football and indoor rock climbing. Pupils across our upper school departments are all welcome if they feel it is something that they will enjoy.
- Local colleges
As our pupils in the Diamonds department begin to plan their futures after they leave Merstone School we recognise the importance of building strong links with the local colleges as we understand this will enable our youngsters and their families to make informed choices and help with a smooth transition. We are invited to look around and spend some time in a range of specialist colleges such as The Hive, Hereward College and Hearty of Birmingham Vocational College.