Words by Gary Phelps / Pics supplied by Stockland Green School
Erdington’s MP has declared Stockland Green School at the “heart of its community” after a special visit to meet students and look around the site.
Paulette Hamilton went to the Slade Road school, which is part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership, on Friday, 27 January, and was given a tour of the facilities, popping into lessons along the way to speak to pupils and staff.
The Member of Parliament also listened in on a hard-hitting presentation by reformed criminal Gary Williams, of the Precious Lives project, which warned of the dangers of crime and knives.
Finally, she sat down in the school library to be grilled by Stockland Green’s student leaders, who asked her about life as an MP, her background as a nurse, her family, and the importance of education.
They also told her about their work for Red Hand Day on 12 February, which is part of an international campaign against the use of Child Soldiers.
Mrs Hamilton said: “It has been a fascinating visit to Stockland Green – the thing that struck me as I was shown around was just how quiet the school was, how well behaved the children are, and how they seemed to be absorbing the information they were being taught in the classrooms.
“I also thought the presentation by Precious Lives was absolutely brilliant. Gary, the young man who was speaking, just held the attention of the whole room – because he was clear, concise and passionate, and I really think the students could identify with what he was saying.
“He had a very important message, and I think it’s great the school invited him to speak.”
Mrs Hamilton said she had been impressed by the student leadership team too.
She added: “I thought the student leaders were fantastic. Their questions were well thought-out, they presented themselves well and the subjects they asked me about were quite hard-hitting, so I couldn’t just give a one word answer.
“I’m hoping that through my answers they’ve got to know a little more about me, and the work of an MP.”
The MP also praised the school for its efforts to connect with the community it serves.
Mrs Hamilton told: “I’ve lived here for 35 years and so I know the area and its people well, and the incredible sense of community there is here.
“I think Stockland Green School is a perfect example of that community spirit, because the school doesn’t just care about what happens inside the classrooms, it cares about what happens in the children’s homes too.
“It’s a school that’s right at the heart of the community, and I saw that during my visit.”
Stockland Green Head of School, Rebecca Goode, said: “We were so grateful to Paulette Hamilton for making time in her busy schedule to come in and meet our students and see what goes on in our school.
“She was really interested to find out more about how we reach out to the community, and impressed by the Precious Lives presentation that was also happening when she visited.
“The students leadership team also really enjoyed getting to spend time with her and ask her questions. They even got her autograph at the end.
“Our school is about supporting our children to be safe and to make positive life choices, to be active members of their community and contribute positively when they are adults.
“Visits like this are really valuable in helping the students understand that they are part of a broader community, as well as showing them what they can achieve if they work hard.”
For more on Stockland Green School visit www.stockgrn.bham.sch.uk