Sunday, 29 November 2009

Reaching Out

Citizen Schools is an initiative of Citizens UK and all our London Schools are members of the broad based community alliance, London Citizens. Each Citizen Schools team has been learning the principles and skills of active citizenship and community organising in order to lead change in their community. As schools listen to their communities and work with other local organisations to build support they are being guided by London Citizens borough organisers. Borough organisers have in depth knowledge about the community in their area and also have a full grasp of local issues that are concerning people. Pictured are South London students working with Seb, an organiser in Greenwich.

Lilian Baylis Launch the Pathway programme

Lillian Baylis Technology School in Lambeth have launched their Citizen School Pathway programme. Things kicked off with an assembly to the whole of year 8. The Citizen Schools team have also met with local community leaders - Sue Sheehan and Anne Bodkin to find out what's going on in the local area. The team are now working together to plan a local neighbourhood walk where they will enable year 8 to listen to the issues concerning the community and think about possible solutions.

Monday, 23 November 2009

George Green's School listen to their community

Students at George Green's School simultaneously listened to a huge number of community partners on Friday 20th November: faith leaders, local businesses, Canary Wharf financiers, teachers, sixth formers, the school council, and the elderly to name but a few!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Prendergast Harnesses the Power of Youtube!

Citizen Schools Week 2: Prendergast Ladywell Fields College.
Simon Jones, lead Citizen Schools teacher, has to find a way to introduce the next lesson to all students simultaneously. Youtube steps in...

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

West London Citizen Schools learn the art of negotiation...

Today was west London schools' turn. Citizen Schools leaders (students, teachers, senior leaders, parents and governors) of our six west London schools came together to share progress and learn the art of negotiation in action. Below are some photos from the event, and participants' evaluation:

Citizen Schools Power-up with Negotiation Training!

It's one thing to come up with an idea. It's one thing to get the community rallying round that idea. But it's another to get power players to support it.

All this week, schools on the Citizen Schools Pathway programme are focusing on powering-up their strategies for community change with special negotiation trainings.

It works like a role-play, and gets everyone - young and old - involved, and brings out experiential learning around power, building alliances, creating tension, planning and understanding peole's motivations.

Here's some photos from the training:

Here is the South London evaluation:

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Citizen Schools Pathway in Action!

The change has begun.

Across London, 5,000 young people in 18 schools are busy learning about, investigating, listening to and creating ideas to improve their communities. It's the first phase of the Citizen Schools Pathway.

Here's a summary of the brilliant progress being made by schools:

George Green's School
is holding a 'listening hour' for all Year 7 students, with pupils split into expert teams tasked with listening to particular groups. Coming into the school next Friday at 10am are groups of parents, sixth formers, primary school students, elderly residents, and representatives from Morgan Stanley - plus students are heading out to visit local businesses. They've also designed their own take on the Citizen Schools logo which all staff are currently wearing!

Barking Abbey School, Charter School, Drayton Manor High School, Central Foundation Girls School, Little Ilford School and Hendon School have all held successful launch assemblies led by students - well done to Pryia, Yewande, Jessica, Musa, Shahanur, the team at Central Foundation and Charter's Year 8 School Council for all their work towards this.

John Roan School
have launched their programme with this engaging short video explaining what's happening in their particular galaxy!

Lampton School
held a special launch yesterday with Year 9 students coming out of lessons for short 'taster' activities in the main hall led by the citizenship team and students themselves... a unique way to generate enthusiasm and show the project is a little bit different!

Lilian Baylis Technology School
are busy meeting with local partners, organisations and groups who will help students investigate the local environment and street safety - and are planning a local community walk for pupils to listen to the community.

Kingsbury High School have their team of Citizen Schools student leaders in place, divided into teams responsible for film/photography, blogging and communicating to power players. Citizen Schools leaders are alos leading a whole-staff 30 minute briefing on the project and have featured the Citizen Schools plans in the latest governor's report.

Prendergast Ladywell Fields College
have a unique model of their students leading the Citizen Schools lessons alongside teachers. A huge team of 50+ student leaders have been in classes beginning the journey for hundreds of students. Click here to see it in action on youtube! Meanwhile they're planning a 'listening' stall in the heart of Lewisham, and Amanda and Alice are keeping the borough's power players in touch with excellent regular updates.

Cardinal Wiseman School
held a special training for their Citizen Schools student leaders, have divided up roles into connectors, researchers, broadcasters and ambassadors, and their team is being mentored by two outstanding sixth form students (well done Grainne and James!).

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Change is Possible! New film shows it's young people who can lead change!

It's finally arrived - a video prooving the positive impact young people can have on their communities. Our 'Change is Possible' film identifies seven examples of students in action to bring about change in their schools and local areas, captured over the last 2 years. It includes real-life London examples of film making, petitioning, negotiations, board meetings, street protests, rallies, alliance actions and use of the media. As one group of students from a Greenwich school said, 'it's a completely inspiring film!'...