Common Good Schools

Common Good Schools

Occasionally Together for the Common Good partners on community projects to bring alive the principle of the common good in local contexts.

We believe that a school rooted in its community can be a force for the common good. To show how this can be done, we were proud to have been a partner in 'FAITH 2017: working together for the common good' a six month initiative led by Alsop High School in Liverpool.

Involving several secondary and primary schools, plus other partners including Liverpool SACRE, the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, Liverpool Diocese, churches of different traditions, fellow faith communities and community groups, Faith 2017 was planned with inspiration from T4CG's Common Good Schools toolkit.

A further six schools in Cumbria were involved too, plus a group of teachers from Italy, who visited their counterparts in Liverpool in July 2017. An opportunity to learn from each other, the visit included presentations from the Italian teachers (here and here) as well as from the Liverpool Faith 2017 team of teachers (here). Read an account of the Italians' visit by Franca Gambari in our blog here.

Building on the success of HOPE 2016, an award winning initiative (see below) in which we were also a partner, FAITH 2017 involved hundreds of young people and inspired them with Common Good Thinking, encouraged them to be compassionate and responsible citizens and work together across their differences.

The events took place from January to July 2017, bringing local people and community groups together, involving the leadership and participation of young people. There were discussions, events, workshops and activities held in local churches and community premises as well as schools. Working together across these activities encouraged collaboration on the twin themes of social justice and social action. 

More about FAITH 2017 can be found on their website and via @FAITH17T4CG. Click here for a local press story.

How Hope 2016 came about

Back in March 2015, Together for the Common Good was invited by Peter Bull, Head of RE at Alsop High School, a community school in Walton, Liverpool, to help him develop an idea for an initiative that would “engage young people and prepare them for adult life so they can work together for the Common Good and for the whole of humanity.” The result was HOPE 2016 - a month-long community initiative in January 2016 which aimed to promote the Common Good and encourage collaboration between local schools, community organisations, churches and faith groups. 

The month featured events, workshops, and local speakers from all religions and denominations with hundreds of local people taking part. The key purpose of HOPE 2016 was to build the capacity for hope and local responsibility for the common good. The impact on the local society was evident, as several people commented that it had a ‘positive ripple effect upon the both the schools and the wider community.’

Alsop High School subsequently won the prestigious WOW Educate Award in the North West for its HOPE 2016 community initiative. The regional education award was for their outstanding work to foster community cohesion and develop pride in the wider community of North Liverpool. 

Alsop High School’s "Hope 2016: working together for the common good” initiative was shortlisted in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) School’s Award, in the Community Impact category.

The school worked closely with Jenny Sinclair, Director of Together for the Common Good, to develop both HOPE 2016 and FAITH 2017, who said: “Alsop High thoroughly deserve to be shortlisted for the TES Schools Award 2017. We believe that a school rooted in its community can be a force for the common good: Alsop High have shown how this can work. In Hope 2016, we wanted to see schools, community and faith groups working together, focusing on ‘hope’ and generating a sense of local pride. It was moving to see the young people grow in confidence and talk about compassion in the classroom, and impressive to see them taking responsibility in their community.”

FAITH 2017 built upon the success of HOPE 2016. Read the full article in the Liverpool Echo.

After Hope 2016, T4CG developed a Common Good Schools Toolkit, consisting of ideas and tips and the principles of Common Good Thinking.

To find out more please email info@togetherforthecommongood.co.uk.

                             

Below: the Faith 2017 planning group included Councillor Jeremy Wolfson and Sara Radivan, representing the Jewish Community, pictured here with Peter Bull (Alsop High School), Bruce Hicks (Archbishop Beck College), Fr Daniel Howard, Cathi Wareing and other colleagues.