Last academic year 5 schools in the Nuneaton area in Warwickshire took part in the Young Leaders Award in partnership with the Diocese of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral. As well as discovering how they could be young leaders and reach out to their local communities through the YLA, they also took part in Coventry Cathedral’s ICONs scheme where they explored themes including peace and reconciliation.
The project linked to the Church of England’s Growing Faith Foundation and aimed to build long lasting and positive relationships across schools, churches and households that would help to nurture faith in children and young people.
Pupils across the schools thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from taking part in the project. Their teachers shared some of the skills and virtues they felt had been developed in the pupils including communication, teamwork, motivating and encouraging others, commitment and compassion.
“The children really enjoyed working together as a team and being able to come up with their own ideas of how they could help others.” YLA Teacher, The Canons CE Primary
To support their local community pupils at The Canons CE Primary made posters to display around school to encourage children to use the litter bins and volunteered to spend some of their lunchtime litter picking on the school grounds. They also liaised with nurses at the local hospital and organised the support of a local fire station to surprise sick children with a visit from Fireman Sam.
Young leaders from St Paul’s CE Primary, Stockingford and All Saints Bedworth C of E Academy also decided to tackle the problem of litter in their community by organising litter picks. KS1 Pupils at St Michael’s CE Academy chose to work together on an environmental project to encourage more bees in their area. The children made up nearly 1000 packets of seeds to distribute to the school and local community. They worked out all the things they would need to make up the seed packets, made up the packs, wrote letters to give out with them and then distributed them so that people could plant them.
“It has encouraged them to think of others, beyond those in their family or class.” YLA Teacher, St Michael’s CE Academy
Stockingford Academy pupils noticed the issue of homelessness in their community and wanted to do something to help. They hosted a whole-school uniform day to raise money for the charity: Doorway, which supports young people who are homeless.
“The children have thoroughly enjoyed the project and they have created a buzz about it to younger children. It's encouraged those deeper-thinking discussions to be had. I think being able to see that it all applies to them, and actually ordinary people like them have made a difference before, so why can't they? They have been inspired.” YLA Teacher, Stockingford Academy
Hear more from pupils and staff in this video:
All of these young leaders have shown great care for others, determination and confidence in their abilities to ‘be the change they want to see’ in their communities.