Hello, I'm Emily and I am new!
Well, not brand new. I joined the Phase team at the end of August as the Early Intervention Lead, but there are still lots of things I am getting my head around. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I have felt so welcomed and it is a blessing to be working with such an amazing team. One of the biggest things I noticed in my first couple of weeks in Hitchin was how well people spoke about Phase and how people loved to sing the praises of both the organisation and the individual members of the team.
I feel super excited to be a part of what Phase is doing. Something I have really seen is a desire in the team to make a real, positive and long-term impact on young people, and to constantly learn and adapt to identify how to best do that.
One of the main things that I was involved with in the first few weeks was leading the On Your Marks workshops, which is all about getting students ready for something new. On Your Marks is the first of three sessions we do with Year 6 students in Hitchin as preparation for their transition to secondary school. The workshops are a combination of whole class discussions, demonstrations from the front, and small group activities. We have an amazing team of primary school volunteers who help make these sessions run, as we generally go into each school with a team of 5 people.
On Your Marks helps students to think about building resilience, taking on more responsibility and becoming good role models, as they prepare for all the expectations and challenges of Year 6, and then secondary school. We also start to identify their questions and worries, and think about ways they can feel more prepared, confident and excited about moving on to secondary school. We then go back in the spring term for the Get Set Session, where develop on those ideas a bit more, and finally in the summer term for the It’s Your Move workshop.
One of my favourite parts of the On Your Marks Session is a an auction that we do at the end, as a fun way to get the students thinking about the differences they might see in secondary schools and what things are important as they look around schools. Each child is given an imaginary £20 and they have to bid on factors that they think are important. It's always very noisy and very fun, but also a great way to start those conversations.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes / Unsplash
Since then I have also been involved in teaching resilience lessons to Year 7 and 8 students, mentoring and we even got the opportunity to go away on a school residential, which was super fun!
Starting new things is always a little bit nerve wrecking, but it's when we are out of our comfort zone that we really enable ourselves to thrive, especially with really great and supportive people around us! I am learning that things aren’t always going to be perfect straight away, and it might be messy sometimes, but I can keep learning and growing from things that go wrong. I also know that in those times I have to really rely on my faith in God, to grow in intimacy and dependence on Him, and trust that He has put me here and is going to equip me, and grow me, and use me, and be with me. I don't know about you but I'm excited!!
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