Last week Future Foundations returned to West Yorkshire for the first of two ‘Step Up’ training programmes to launch year 12 at Silcoates School into their first year of sixth form study.
On Friday 2nd September we worked with 55 fresh faced Sixth Formers, returning to Silcoates for their first day of the new school term. The programme was designed to help the students to review their transition into Sixth Form, recognise if they may have ‘taken their foot off the pedal’ and encourage them to aim high and be confident about their potential.
Future Foundations’ facilitators encouraged students to take responsibility for their own learning and acquire the attitude needed to go beyond what is being asked of them in class. Through a series of experiential learning activities we developed student’s team work and time management skills helping them to think about their vision for sixth form and set tangible goals.
- Encourage students to take personal responsibility for their own learning, take academic and personal opportunities and highlight the benefits of doing so.
- Help students identify life goals and work back through life stages that will take them there; challenging them to identify current achievement needed for future success and their part in it.
- Challenge students to find innovative solutions to school and local issues or opportunities establishing a culture of creative, engaged and proactive Sixth Formers
- Build the students’ confidence, initiative, teamwork, pro-activity and commitment towards their vision through working together on team building tasks.
- Special topics sessions encouraging students to broaden their perspectives, gain new skills and consider leadership roles and projects inside school.
- Prepare students for the transition from Lower to Upper Sixth, preparing them to build their personal profile and successfully present themselves to admissions tutors and employers in the future.
Future Foundations provided a varied programme delivered across the school site, including experiential team tasks and reflection sessions throughout to relate learning to the objectives of the leadership day. The day was launched with a motivational plenary themed around ‘Living Leadership’, exploring everyone’s role and responsibility to be a leader within their school, community and society as a whole. Students took to their feet and carried out a blindfold ‘Driving Me’ task which challenged them to experience both leading and being led and helped to demonstrate to the students that they can direct their future, if they choose to.
Students then worked through workshops themed around Self-Leadership and time management with experiential activities to put their self-leadership skills and different theories into practice. After break they attended a session on independent learning, exploring what it means in a positive and can do way.
The programme was facilitated by an experienced team of positive, dynamic staff inspired by the firm belief that all young people are full of capability and possibility and throughout the programme there was an ethos of support, teamwork and cooperation. The programme was Course Directed by Andy Dunn with support from Future Foundations coaches Jason Moore and Amrit Lohir.
I have had a wonderful time at Silcoates! My highlight of the day has been seeing how well motivated the young people are, their drive to succeed and try their best. Over the day they took on board personal areas for development, acknowledged themselves as leaders and each explored how they can inspire other people in their lives. Self-belief has been a huge focus for participants today and for me, the Step Up programme can be characterised by the idea that ‘confidence is something that you create by believing in who you are’.
Andy Dunn, Course Director
It’s been really rewarding seeing young people start to understand their personal style of learning and recognise that there are many different approaches and ways of achieving. Students have come to the realisation that their time at Sixth Form is not about simply focusing on your own academic success and there seemed to be a real acknowledgement of every student’s responsibility to create a school culture of peer support and a move away from a culture of competition towards cooperation to help one another to reach their full potential.
“Overall this was a fantastic day with really positive outcomes for the students and exactly the right level of challenge. Future Foundations staff were very engaging, they bought real energy to the day and were inspiring people. New students were well integrated, there was a good balance of review and reflection and they all took away key messages about the importance of organisation, self leadership and that Sixth Form requires a big step up from GCSE. I would book this day again without a shadow of a doubt.” Anand Mistry, Head of Year 12