15 February 2018

Students at Birkenhead Sixth Form College have been sending personal thank you postcards to their favourite former high school teachers as part of the College’s ‘BePART’ programme for mental health and wellbeing.

Expressing gratitude has been strongly linked with feeling more happy and positive, so students wrote some heartfelt messages to those teachers who inspired them most before they took the step up to A Levels.

Teachers from every high school in Wirral were among those singled out, with the emotional postcards highlighting just how important a role teachers play in the formation of young people’s characters. The students wrote that they had gained confidence, felt supported and achieved well beyond what they thought they could, and it was all down to the teachers they admired.

One card to a teacher from The Birkenhead Park School said: “The time in French was revolutionary. I surpassed what was expected of me and what I suspected I would get. Without your teaching it wouldn’t be possible.”

Another to a Prenton High School teacher reads: “Thank you for being more than a head of year but a true inspiration and a role model. You always looked out for us and always wanted the best for each and every individual. You taught me a lot that I will forever carry in my heart. Once again, thank you.”

A student wrote to an English teacher at Woodchurch High School: “I believe everyone has a teacher who they always remember because of the impact they had on them. You are that teacher to me. Thank you for everything.”

The gratitude postcards form part of a bespoke programme devised by psychologists among the staff at Birkenhead Sixth Form College and is one of six special sessions that each of the 1300 sixth form students takes part in. Other elements of the ‘BePART’ (Be Positive, Ambitious, Resilient, Thoughtful) scheme include focusing on relaxation techniques and the importance of sleep and diet.

Principal at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Mike Kilbride, said: “Reading some of these postcards genuinely brought a tear to my eye, and I’m sure the teachers that receive them will be so happy. It’s such a show of appreciation for the entire teaching profession and proves that what we all do, day in and day out, matters so much to the next generation.”

He continued: “We place a lot of importance on the mental health of young people and the ‘BePART’ programme is putting that into action. Showing gratitude has been proven to make a significant impact on a person’s outlook on life, and such a simple thing can go a long way. The combination of improving students’ wellbeing and giving thanks to those in an often underappreciated profession is fantastic.”