The Pool Academy 3:2:1 Citizenship Awards
Some students no longer recognise or are exercised in the need for a diversity of communication, integration, meaningful or positive contribution within and their local setting. Whilst attachment to the many facets of current culture is both rewarding and compelling, some young people have been misguided and consumed by their insatiable desire for information, often only of another and usually a peer. On the surface and without often leaving their bedrooms, many young people are linked to a wider group of friends and associates through ‘group chats’, ‘likes’ and the language of the emoji. The reality for some though, is that our significant and impressive technological advances, ease of accessibility and affordability have left them disconnected and isolated. Worryingly, there will be those who remain socially impaired and vulnerable. Young people who sadly lack the basics of appropriate communication, appreciation, interaction and motivation. We must continue to address this in our passion and quest to educate the ‘whole child’.
Our ambition however is not to return to some of the outdated views and practices of bygone days, but to mesh the obvious amazing benefits of living in today’s world with a more than passing reference to the past and some of its enduring virtues. Indeed, those that are rooted in our Pool Academy Values of Aspiration, Belonging and Respect.
Additionally, there is a clear and obvious need to support our young people today like never before. To raise individual self-esteem, eradicate child exploitation and extremist ideology, deal effectively with mental illness, reduce self-harm and tackle obesity. This is not an exhaustive list but identifies subjects that are rightly receiving much attention way beyond our catchment.
Whilst high on the indices of deprivation, our beautiful County, steeped in the history of its glorious and world renowned mining past, does offer great opportunities for our young people in 2018. We are very excited about these opportunities: of Further and Higher Education, Apprenticeships and Employment. Alongside these, young people can access sports, music, arts, religion and enter the Voluntary Sector. There are of course, the County Essentials of Fishing, Agriculture and Tourism and the headline grabbing, mind blowing conversations about Space Travel. We do have a fantastic Environment, the envy of many, and must preserve it for generations to come. Whether our young people access University and never return, or remain and never leave, our ambition and determination must be universal. To support and equip them to do their very best in order to achieve their very best. All in a safe, caring and happy environment where they are naturally Good Citizens who seize opportunity and will realise their potential. We believe that the new focus of our Citizenship Awards will have a significant impact on the vast majority of our students, the school and our wider community.
In launching the Pool Academy 3:2:1 Citizenship Awards for all our students in Years 7, 8 & 9, we have drawn upon our personal experiences and professional judgement, identified the perceived needs of our young people, acknowledged their views and those of our wider community. We are formally recognising and celebrating the contribution our students are making to school, personal development and the community. Furthermore, we seek to encourage more to contribution, through a system of identification, recognition and reward. Our expectation is that all of our students in these Year Groups will at least achieve the Bronze Award. We will set ourselves targets to ensure that the vast majority of our students actually achieve all three awards as we recognise the individual and collective benefit of them doing so.
To achieve the Bronze Award, each student will have a meeting with their Tutor and will identify Three things they will contribute towards Pool Academy during their school year. This list is not exhaustive but would typically include: representing the school in a sport, assisting with assemblies, productions, members of the choir, assisting with the open evening, help desk. Being the member of a student group (class rep/leader) etc.
The student will then be able to access the Silver Award. A similar conversation will take place with their Tutor and they will agree Two Things that the student will do to develop themselves during their school year.
These may be as a consequence of or lead to Academic Improvement, but will not be specific Academic targets/outcomes. Typically, things may include: developing a new skill, learning to play an instrument, achieving a personal best in sport, overcoming a fear or barrier, doing something for the first time, improving in an existing activity etc.
Successful students will then be able to access the Gold Award. To achieve this, they must evidence that they have done One thing for the benefit of someone else in our Community. At the lowest level, this may be washing a neighbour’s car or running an errand for someone. More significant activity might be: being part of an external group who make a community contribution, a beach litter pick, voluntary work, fund raising etc.
Presentation of Awards will take account of a Students’ Behaviour and Attendance but are designed to be inclusive and achieved by all.
Evidence for all activities outside of school can be obtained by photo/note or similar which the student will be able to ‘share’ with their Tutor via Google Classroom.
Student Safety and appropriate behaviour is paramount when carrying out any offsite activity. Indeed, student behaviour will undoubtedly be assessed during the activity.
The Three Awards will be celebrated through the Internal House system with individual and House recognition.
Those outstanding students who achieve the Bronze, Silver & Gold Awards will be considered by a panel to receive the prestigious Community Awards. These will be sponsored and presented by local business leaders at a separate event. It is anticipated that only two of these Awards will be given to each Year Group (boy/girl from each) and will recognise the impact of the student’s contribution.
We do acknowledge that many of our students are already making significant contributions, both in and out of school. These Awards will ensure that we celebrate existing activity and further encourage all of our students to make a contribution to school and community life, whist developing themselves.
In planning for these Awards, we have had very positive feedback from our School family. local Business Leaders and Residents.
Whilst the Award is being launched during the school year, we believe that students can still make significant contributions. In time. and as the Awards become embedded in school life and more widely recognised, students in Years 10 & 11 will be able to make reference to them when CV writing or making application for Employment and Further Education. We hope too, that they will go on making significant contributions to the school, the community and beyond as they further develop into young adults.
Pastoral Support Manager