Youth Social Action

Facts

  • Suffolk (East of England)
  • Primary Community School
  • 140 pupils aged 3-11
  • 14.6% of pupils receive FSM
  • 1st Fressingfield Scout Group
  • Southern Norfolk Scout District
  • 150 uniformed youth members aged 5-18

 

Character Traits:

  • Leadership
  • Citizenship
  • Compassion
  • Hope and optimism
  • Selflessness

 

Our school’s social action centres on close partnership with the 1st Fressingfield Scout Group. Both students and staff are encouraged to join and we like the whole school to be engaged in the scouting ethos. There’s a good retention rate as many of our young people stay in the organisation and become uniformed leaders themselves. It forges intergenerational links with the Royal British Legion and provides a framework with which to fundraise, hold fetes, garden parties. With litter picks and work with the local church our young people are now seen to be having a positive role in the local community. We’re mindful that students should not be excluded because of their financial circumstances so we use Pupil Premium money to fight exclusion. 

We have a school council, hold mock elections and have weekly celebrations that recognize the achievements of pupils in and out of school. One group raised nearly £1500 for the Nepal Earthquake appeals and this was commended with a presentation in assembly with families and guests present. Through the school and the Scouts, we sponsor children in at a school in Kenya and an orphanage in Nairobi. An exchange program furthers this work and every three years we send leaders and a handful of senior scouts out to the orphanage to volunteer, and this year, 4 people from the orphanage visited us in exchange. Our students and scouts used fundraising events to gather the money needed to rescue one particular child from poverty and that child has since been educated and is off to university! This personal story and personal connection has had a big effect on our students and scouts; they can see how lives can be changed one step at a time. 

The School management team has decided to remodel the leadership team and we now have a youth social education coordinator to make social action an intrinsic part of our curriculum. We are forging ahead on two major projects to create a new scout headquarters and build a local farming community that our students can participate in. A dedicated team and a strong passionate leader is needed to make this sustainable but the results are clear. There are some fantastic things happening and the pupils who participate are more rounded, more socially aware and more emotionally literate. They tend to achieve better results in academia and sport than those who do not engage and, crucially, they are also happier.

The working definition of Youth Social Action is:

YSA is practical action in the service of others to create positive change.  It provides an important mechanism for young people to develop and express their character while benefiting others.  It incorporates a range of activities - including volunteering for a charity, caring for someone in their community, providing peer support online, and campaigning of fundraising for a specific cause - and can take place in both a formal or informal setting.

YSA should be challenging, youth-led (although often adult facilitated), socially impactful, progressive, embedded and reflective.  YSA, therefore, should be celebrated for its transformational possibilities - both for young people and their communities - and should be acknowledged as a right of every young person.

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne is Executive Headteacher of the Waveney Valley Partnership, Group Scout Leaders of the 1st Fressingfield Scout Group and a member of the UK Primary Heads Advisory Panel on Youth Social Action Education.

 

Community, Character and Ethos Leader – specification September 2015

Waveney Valley Partnership Federation is committed to ensuring that senior school leaders have the opportunity to develop strategic job roles as part of the School Senior Leadership Team. The Community, Character and Ethos Leader will work alongside the Assessment Leader and the Curriculum Leader.

The Community, Character and Ethos Leader is responsible to the Executive Headteacher and the Attainment and Curriculum Committee.

The Community, Character and Ethos Leader must ensure that they are fully versant with new and emerging policy, practices and procedures locally and nationally. Ensuring that the school deliver and most importantly the pupils receive an outstanding provision and curriculum offer.

The Community, Character and Ethos Leader’s core functions are (although not restricted to):

  •  Ensuring that the whole school community have opportunity to contribute social action programmes;
  •  The delivery of the ‘British Values’ agenda;
  •  The delivery of the ‘PREVENT’ strategy;
  •  Seek, develop and embed Youth Social Action programmes for pupils;
  •  Act as a wider community hub leader;
  •  Contributing to the development of the SiDP and relevant school policies;
  •  Continually seeking new opportunities for our pupils to engage in;
  •  Identifying and helping facilitate appropriate CPD linked to the SiDP and Subject Action Plans;
  •  Undertaking research to support curriculum developments;
  •  Producing and delivering reports to the SLT, governors, LA and other stakeholders;
  •     Actively participate in local, regional and national initiatives, i.e. #i will campaign.

More information can be found at  http://www.iwill.org.uk