Case Study - The Blue School | Award Nomination 2016

We are delighted that the Whole Education Award for Student Leadership in 2016 was sponsored by National Citizen Service.
 
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to all 16 & 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland that helps them to build skills for work and life, and make a contribution to their community. It costs nothing for a school to support NCS and government funding ensures that participants pay no more than £50 to secure their place, with bursaries available for those unable to meet the cost. Over 200,000 young people have already taken part in NCS and the latest IPSOS Mori evaluation, published in December 2015, found that 91% feel they learn important skills for the future, 82% feel more positive about people from different backgrounds and the average participant spends an additional six hours helping out in their community each month. Young people also leave NCS equipped with important character strengths needed to flourish in later life.

 
Case Study:
Neil Mantell, Learn to Lead Link Teacher and Lead Teacher for The Blue School Council
The Blue School
 
Practice:
This year, Neil has facilitated the engagement of over 200 students in self-elected teams, working on projects which are aimed to improve the educational experience for all students in the school. Over the last 10 years or so, Neil has established and embedded a clear and rigorous 'plan, do, review' process through Learn to Lead which enables students to work in a team on a project of their choice. Previous projects include: working on a radio station, looking after chickens and growing and selling vegetables.
 

Impact:
The Learn to lead programme has revolutionized the concept of school council in the Blue School from a small elected body to an open door invitation for anyone and everyone to get involved through ‘self-electing’ and running projects for the betterment of their own lives, their school community and beyond. This has been culture changing, creating more respectful and collaborative relationships between students - and students and staff working together beyond the curriculum. Because it is not just about student voice (consultation), but ACTION, students and staff have seen the school environment changing as student led projects have developed. Students feel ownership and for some it is the reason they come to school. Over the years this has been reflected linguistically, referring to ‘our school’ and what ‘we’ will do next.

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