Key Stage 1 Young Leaders Award
During the summer term Class 3 have been working on the Archbishop of York's Young Leader Award. The award is broken into 4 steps: being kind, persevering, teamwork and taking action.
Each step has a story about a girl called Gracie who learns about the steps through various situations. There is a big question to promote discussion around the theme for each step. Then there are some activities and a bible or leader story linked to each step. Finally, there is a challenge to complete! Each step has a phrase to learn which is revisited during the activities for each step and throughout the subsequent steps to really embed the values the award is trying to teach those taking part.
The children have a passport to complete throughout, where they can stick in photos of the tasks and write about each step. We recorded the key phrase for each step as a reminder.
Step 1- During the first step - kindness - we sent secret messages of kindness to each other on heart shaped paper. We thought about the bible story of the kind friends who took their paralysed friend to meet Jesus and lowered him through the roof. The challenge was to do random acts of kindness at home and at school. We saw children pushing in chairs for others, letting others go before them in the queue without a fuss and children inviting people to play who they don't normally play with. The key phrase for this step was: Leaders are always kind!
Step 2 - For the second step the children explored what it means to persevere and practised the phrase: Leaders stick at it! This step started with an ice challenge - where the children had a plastic knife, fork and spoon and just 10 minutes to get the toy out of the block of ice! The bible story was a story Jesus told about the woman who wouldn't take no for answer when the judge who was supposed to help her was being unfair- a great discussion followed about why the children thought Jesus told this story! They made their own cup and ball games and learnt first hand about persevering as they mastered the skill of getting the ball into the cup. The challenge for step 2 was to teach a younger child how to get the ball into the cup and class 2 were more than happy to help! We saw children more willing to have another try if they didn't succeed first time and those who had mastered the skill giving advice and encouragement to their peers to help them succeed.
Step 3 - The third step was all about team work! We shared the bible story of Jesus being the fisher of men and learned about the ingredients of a 'Teamwork Trifle' through Gracie and the three-legged race. The key phrase for the step was: Leaders are better together which was demonstrated through our teamwork challenge of Co-operation Islands; Pass the Hoop; Three on a Ski race and Walk the Tube. We saw children encouraging each other, listening to each others ideas, trusting and respecting each other which helped them succeed as a team!
Final Step Action - The class had to use all the skills gained in the 3 previous steps to plan a project which would benefit the local community. We chose to complete 3 tasks. One for the people in our school to let them know how much we appreciate them and all they do for us. The children wrote letters of appreciation to every adult in school. The feedback was very positive and raised the spirits in school and gave the children a real sense of pride that they had made others feel valued by this simple act. The second task was a practical one to help the people in our local area by collecting food for the local food bank. We aimed to collect 150 items and collected just under 200 - the food bank was very grateful for this donation and thought the children were so very kind to have wanted to help others. Finally the children voted to do a sponsored walk, completing 50 laps of our mile track - an approximate distance of 5 miles! The funds raised are also going to the foodbank and so far we have collected over £300! The phrase for this final step is... Leaders take Action! The children certainly did!
It has been wonderful to see the children respond to each of the themes. We have seen spontaneous acts of kindness from children who sometimes need reminders about this. We have seen children who previously give up very easily being more willing to have another go not only during the award but in other areas of the curriculum too. We have seen great teamwork as part of the project and in general the children are more willing to listen to ideas and encourage their partner or peers when doing practical tasks together. Finally we have seen a real sense of pride and achievement as their small individual acts -writing a letter, bringing in some tins of food and taking part in the sponsored walk - have gone a long way to help others in a big way.
Key Stage 2 Young Leaders Award
Class 4 have also been completing the Key Stage 2 Young Leaders Award and have also gained lots from the project. The award supports schools in nurturing the leadership skills and character virtues of their pupils and in developing the whole child, mind, heart and soul. Independent research by the University of Gloucestershire has proven that the Young Leaders
Award helps foster a growth mindset in young people raising their aspirations and enabling them to see and achieve their full potential.
The award is achievable for all and offers pupils a wide range of social, personal and educational benefits.
The award develops core leadership skills including team work, communication, negotiation, creative thinking and initiative. It provides practical opportunities for pupils to practise implementing these skills.
The award nurtures core character virtues, such as compassion, humility, and self-control. It provides opportunities for embedding these values in daily life and school culture.
The award inspires independent learning, helping shape future aspirations and development of key life skills. It fosters a ‘can do’ attitude.
The award encourages self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It increases pupils’ levels of confidence, resilience and empathy.
The award cultivates a mind-set for helping others through volunteering and practical action. Many pupils continue their efforts beyond the life of the award.
The award encourages justice and concern for others; promotes tolerance and respect; and breaks down barriers in our communities. Our children's actions help to positively raise our school profile within the community.