The Young Leaders Award can support pupils’ understanding of and engagement with their school’s vision and values. Values are one clear way that schools seek to educate beyond the academic and to help their pupils’ flourish in character.
“It fitted brilliantly with our whole school vision of being future ready and our values of respect, responsibility, creatively and happiness.”
KS1 YLA Teacher
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, at the University of Birmingham, write that:
“belonging to and actively participating in a school community is a deeply formative experience that helps students develop, amongst other things, their character. In a broad sense, character education permeates all subjects, wider school activities, and a general school ethos.”
“The Young Leaders programme really represents our school’s vision and values. The children have gained so much from the award, and we know the skills learnt with enhance their lives.”
KS1 YLA Teacher
There are many ways in which the Young Leaders Award can provide opportunities to enhance school values. For example, the collaborative nature of many of the activities within the Award gives pupils opportunities to grow in cooperation and respect, engaging with the needs of others and taking part in social action projects in the community enhances values such as compassion, kindness and generosity, and having ownership and responsibility for their challenges fosters values like independence and creativity.
The YLA can be all the more meaningful when embedded firmly within a whole school ethos, vision and values. It can bridge the gap between knowledge of a value and experience of it, which brings deeper understanding.
“Perseverance is one of our values, so they were familiar with the word, however, the unit on perseverance really helped all of our children to really understand what it means to persevere.”
KS1 YLA Teacher
The Jubilee Centre, encourage schools that character should be “caught through role-modelling…school culture and ethos” of which values often play a central role, but that it should also be taught to “provide the rationale, language and tools to use in developing character elsewhere in and out of school”.
The Young Leaders Award offers resources for schools to teach about leadership skills and character virtues explicitly, to support pupils to understand and reflect on values in their own lives as well as put them into action as they serve their communities. Through the Award there are opportunities for character and positive leadership traits to be caught through the experiences of social action and to be taught through lesson activities and discussion.
Archbishop Holgate’s School, York, reflect in this video about how the YLA enhances their school values.
“What we love about the award is that it dovetails in so nicely with our own school values: justice, compassion, forgiveness and trust. They are throughout the Young Leaders Award.”
“The Young Leaders Award is people putting their values into action by helping everyone in the community.”
KS3 Young Leader
At the ABY Youth Trust, our hope is that more and more schools will benefit from the Young Leaders Award to enrich their whole school communities and show their school values inaction.