Here Girls Can Festival impact at Kingstone High School, Hereford
Posted: Fri, 31 Mar 2023 08:47
Kingstone High School, Hereford, attended both the first and second Here Girls Can festivals in 2022. After attending, Kingstone have fully embedded the ethos and learning from the two festivals, back into their school.
Their story demonstrates that whilst our festival is a one-off event for participants, sustained behaviour change can occur as a result - which is exactly why we put on these festivals.
"Over the last two years, with support and guidance from the Here Girls Can Festival, we now have an invite only club for the previous attendees from the festival. The 12-16 girls come to a lunch time club, run by the Yr11s who were Volunteer Girls Ambassadors at the Here Girls Can festival, from our high school. The KS3 girls invited feel part of a little community. Seeing them communicate with one another in a happy environment whilst being physically active is very special. Some girls from my previous cohort who attended the festival now participate whilst on their periods, with rest breaks, water and at a low intensity - before they'd never join during this time. Sometimes they need a little encouragement and reminding about what the festival taught them about how exercise is beneficial when you are on your period. They are much more open to discussing their problems with me, whereas before it was seen as a taboo. I too, have learnt about adaptive exercise whilst girls are on their periods, and wish to continue to share this knowledge with future cohorts. Each year, the students ask if it is running again and if they can go back to it, showing how inspiring and successful it was among the girls. We now have a This Girl Can board in our PE Department with pictures from the past two events which is a great talking point for others. It has also increased the girls football participation too, alongside the recent successful Euros event. One of our students has written a statement - which is laminated on our girls board - about the event which I would like to share with you below, directly quoted from our current Year 9 who attended as a Year 8:
""Where do I start? I am so grateful to be chosen to take part in This Girl Can. It was an amazing experience. I cannot describe how comforting it was to be with a group of girls that understand you and how you feel. It is an experience I will never forget! From the yoga, to the rollerblading, and even the girl chit chat. Ever since participating, I have felt more included and confident with different age groups and myself. It made me realise that I am not on my own!
"I am hot and not bothered"."
Since attending the Here Girls Can festival, this student has chosen to take a sports leaders course in Year 9 and also assists with the Year 7s at football club on a weekly basis. This has broadened her previously limited social circle and has expanded her activity levels in sports and PE."
- teacher at Kingstone High School.