WE

Sciennes has been working with the inspirational WE Charity since June 2016 and we are most fortunate to have hosted three outstanding whole day Assemblies and workshops with them, promoting young people as Change Makers.

In June 2017, we were excited to be invited to host an Edinburgh WE Summit for Primary Six pupils from Sciennes, Preston Street, Tollcross, Royal Mile and Taobh na Pairce primary schools in James Gillespie’s High School Cluster. WE is exceptionally dynamic and engaging in promoting youth activism and has been of huge benefit to the school in developing a rights based approach to learning, inspiring our young people to participate in social action and encouraging them to make a difference.

WE Charity has a wealth of resources, many of them aligned to the Scottish curriculum, which we have used to support school initiatives in pupil social action:

WE Scare Hunger P3 Foodbank Appeal

P3 We Scare Hunger1P3 We Scare Hunger2

P5 WE Won’t Rest Homelessness Awareness and Fundraising Campaign

P5 Homelessness WE Won't Rest

Live WE at School – Teacher

WE Charity, formerly known as Free The Children, is a worldwide development charity and youth empowerment movement founded in 1995 by human rights advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger. The organization focuses on young people, with programmes in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. for service learning and active citizenship, and international development projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America focused on children and education.


WE Free the Children at Sciennes 15.6.2016

We were delighted to welcome Jacob Gruber from Free the Children to Sciennes on Wednesday 15th June 2016 to embrace the pupil leadership opportunities their programme provides for taking action.

Jacob provided an inspirational Assembly for P4-P6 pupils, telling the story of Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children who, as a 12-year old boy in Toronto, was inspired to take action after hearing the moving story of the fate of Iqbal Masih. Iqbal was sold into child labour as an infant but escaped and became a campaigner for children’s rights only to be killed as a 12 year old himself. It was hearing about this travesty that prompted Craig to become a social activist and found a charity which encourages children to make a difference. Jacob asked our pupils to think about how they could change the world.

Jacob then led workshops throughout the day with half the P6 year group (Sienna and Lauder Houses), encouraging pupils to think about the issues most important to them and which steps they could take to be change makers.

An uplifting day, giving our children a voice in making a difference.

Jacob will return in October to repeat the workshops with the remaining children. Ms Sellar and Ms Gaffney organised a day of workshops for Grange and Tantallon Houses, looking first at the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and then a particular focus on Gender Equality.

Primary Six pupils were fantastic ambassadors for our school, so capable of high level thinking, discussion, debate and planning. Thank you to Free the Children for giving us this wonderful opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work with them next session.

How will you be the change?
Remembering Iqbal Masih
Craig Kielburger, Co-Founder of Free the Children
Jacob leads hugely engaging workshops, getting the children to feel confident in expressing their opinions
Listening respectfully to one another was a key message
Which side are you on in the debate?
Voicing opinions in debate
One minute to state your group’s case
Everyone included and engaged and motivated

Article 12 The right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.

Free the Children

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as change-makers. Over the last 20 years, Free The Children has grown into an international movement supporting youth empowerment through educational service-learning initiatives in North America and the United Kingdom, and a holistic and sustainable international development model. It is supported by the Queen’s Trust, the UN, Virgin Atlantic and has many international supporters –  Malala, Desmond Tutu, Prince Harry, Oprah will give a flavour. Their model is ‘children helping children’ and they promote pupil leadership and taking action, here and abroad. The scheme began in Canada, initiated  by one of the CEOs when he was 12, and is a social enterprise endeavour.

P6 Global Goals and Gender Equality Workshops 15.6.2016

Half of our P6 year group took part in Free the Children workshops on Wednesday 15th June 2016 and the other half took part in workshops designed by Class Teachers Ms Fiona Sellar, Ms Jenny Gaffney and Mrs Jane Maguire to encourage pupils to think about the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 5 Gender Equality. The three P6 classes were split into Sienna and Lauder with Free the Children and Grange and Tanatallon Houses with Class Teachers.

Firstly, pupils in mixed teams from each class considered the Global Goals, decided which three were most important to them and explained why.

In the afternoon session, they were then asked to list as many jobs as they could, categorise them into male and female occupations on Post-Its and display these. Their ideas were discussed with the whole group and pupils naturally began to recognise and realise many stereotypes in their initial attitudes.

Ms Sellar explained how Global Goal 5, Gender Equality, is a fundamental goal in achieving the other goals and showed the pupils this thought-provoking video, “Like A Girl”:

Article 2 The right to protection against discrimination.


‘WE’ Makes A Return Visit to Sciennes 7.12.16

https://www.we.org/gb/

What a superb return visit to Sciennes on Wednesday 7th December 2016 from WE, again arranged for us by Schools Co-ordinator Harriet Morgan.

In June 2016, Jacob, a Speaker and Facilitator from WE Free the Children, worked with half of our (then P6) pupils and it was a superb and inspirational day, providing a wealth of opportunities for our children to embrace pupil leadership. Wednesday 7th December 2016 marked a welcome return visit from the charity, where two Speakers and Facilitators, Frankie and Chloe, kindly accommodated the remaining half of our P7 pupils.

We were honoured to welcome Nicola Brentnall, the Director of The Queen’s Trust and Kate Likely, UK Director of WE, who joined us on the day.

P5, P6 and P7 pupils were invited to a special assembly at 9am and then half the P7 year group took part in WE workshops throughout the day, while Ms Sellar led the remaining pupils in a repeat of her excellent Global Goals workshop, focusing on Gender Equality.

The format of the workshops fitted ideally with our aims to develop pupil-led social action as part of the Junior Award Scheme for Schools:

Team Building/Issues Module – exploring prevalent issues in society, and globally to build confidence, identify leadership skills and also get pupils thinking about issues they care about.
Reflective Module – enabling pupils to think how they can use their skills for issues that are important to them.
Action Planning – putting pen to paper to create a tangible action plan for children to develop and put into practice.

FROM ME TO WE: PUPIL LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP

What a wonderful, highly inspirational and motivational day which we are certain will have impressed the visiting VIPs, Anne, Kate and Alison, as much as it did the children and staff.

Frankie and Chloe skilfully led the children through complex issues, channeling their ideas and thoughts very effectively and giving them a strong sense of empowerment to make a difference.  We are very grateful that WE has been able to accommodate our entire year group of 97 P7 pupils who now have a shared experience that we will use not only to assist them with taking on social action themselves, but also cascading what they have learned to others in school. The feedback from the children evidenced how deeply they had thought about the issues raised and how positively they had responded to the session.

Our P5 and P6  pupils who also attended the Assembly with P7 in the morning have been equally positive and the visit was a huge help in taking forward our engagement with WE as a school.

The WE pack of learning resources is superb (which includes many UNCRC-linked , Curriculum for Excellence specific materials) and P5 pupils have already begun using the ‘WE Won’t Rest‘ Homelessness Section. We are very fortunate to have established a working relationship with this dynamic, pro-active charity, which has such a strong focus on pupils taking the lead, firmly rooted in the UNCRC and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Frankie’s P5-P7 Assembly – “Be the Change”
 Special visitor from The Queen’s Trust, Alison and Kate Likely, UK Director of WE
Craig Kielburger founded WE Free the Children aged 11 with his brother in Canada in 1995 and it is now an international charity and youth movement.
Iqbal Masih’s story inspired Craig Kielburger to establish WE Free the Children.
Chloe and Frankie inspired and empowered P7 to be change makers.
Getting to know you and establishing respectful interaction.
Trust exercises
Issues Pictionary
Pictionary issues included litter, hunger, dirty water, homelessness and child labour.
Great to see the classes getting on so well in mixed Pictionary Teams.
This group ‘blew Chloe’s mind’ with their great ideas for social action.
Quality co-operation in planning their campaigns.
Each Dream Team was made up of pupils from all three P7 classes.
Presenting ideas for making a difference

Global Goal 5 – Gender Equality

Ms Sellar capably led the remaining half of the group in her innovative workshops designed to familiarise pupils with the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 5 Gender Equality.

Firstly, pupils in mixed teams from each class considered the Global Goals, decided which three were most important to them and explained why.

In the afternoon session, they were then asked to list as many jobs as they could, categorise them into male and female occupations on Post-Its and display these. Their ideas were discussed with the whole group and pupils naturally began to recognise and realise many stereotypes in their initial attitudes.

Pupils explored how phrases such a “Act like a man” and “Be ladylike” can limit people.

Ms Sellar explained how Global Goal 5, Gender Equality, is a fundamental goal in achieving the other goals and showed the pupils this thought-provoking video, “Like A Girl”:

Pupils were asked to pledge actions they will take to support gender equality.

“I pledge to let people be who they want to be.”
“I promise I’ll include everyone whatever their gender is.”
“I promise to try to make the world a better place. Even if I fail I will try again.”
“I pledge to make the Global Goals a reality.”

About WE

WE is an international charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as change-makers. Over the last 20 years, WE has grown into an international movement supporting youth empowerment through educational service-learning initiatives in North America and the United Kingdom, and a holistic and sustainable international development model. It is supported by the Queen’s Trust, the UN, Virgin Atlantic and has many international supporters –  Malala, Desmond Tutu, Prince Harry, Oprah will give a flavour. Their model is ‘children helping children’ and they promote pupil leadership and taking action, here and abroad. The scheme began in Canada, initiated  by one of the CEOs when he was 12, and is a social enterprise endeavour.

For more information about WE, visit their website.

The ‘WE’ programme fits extremely well with our well established Junior Awards Scheme Scotland (JASS) programme in P6 and P7 where pupils are asked to take their own action to achieve a ‘Me and My World’ element. JASS is a children’s version of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, and the idea for it actually came from Sciennes! It is now adopted throughout Edinburgh and beyond so has been retitled Junior Award Scheme for Schools.

The Junior Award Scheme Schools (JASS) is an accredited learning programme, celebrating wider achievement, for young people (P6-S2). Sciennes and Tollcross Primary Schools have been implementing this scheme since we piloted it in 2009.
The concept emerged from a discussion during a Sciennes P7 visit to Lagganlia between Alice Brown, Gael Logan and Barry Hewitt who came up with the idea to set up a ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ style award scheme for upper primary pupils. The scheme has since been developed into a city wide programme.

There are three levels (bronze, silver and gold), each requiring a higher degree of commitment. Each level also includes four sections to be completed:

  • My interest – a hobby or interest
  • Get Active, Stay Active – involvement in a sport or physical activity
  • Me and My World – a community or environmental project
  • Adventure – a teamwork challenge through involvement in an outdoor activity (e.g Benmore and Lagganlia)

http://jassawardsciennes.blogspot.co.uk/

Sciennes helped develop an online version – eJASS.

WE also fits well with our Unicef Rights Respecting Schools programme. We have recently achieved Level One and our next steps are to continue to extend knowledge of UNCRC and to expand global citizenship. The WE programme will assist us with that. We have highlighted the relevance of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development since their launch in September 2015 and the programme also supports this extremely well, as well as our involvement in the #iwillcampaign, promoting pupil social action.


 

WE Summit for JGHS P6 Pupils 15.6.2017

On 15th June 2017 Sciennes hosted a WE Summit for P6 pupils from Preston Street, Tollcross, Royal Mile and Taobh na Pairce schools as a James Gillespie’s Cluster Transition event with the WE Movement charity. This international organisation encourages young people to think about and take action on issues which concern them. A senior writer from Toronto, Jesse Mintz, published an article on the day’s events:

WE Summit6From one school to many.

By Jesse Mintz

Library shelves around Edinburgh are stocked because of their generosity. Syrian children living in refugee camps climb on playgrounds because of their fundraising. And, visitors to the Scottish Parliament now learn about children’s rights because of their mural. “They” are the pupils of Sciennes Primary School and their story is a tale of WE Schools.

“Social action, making a difference, caring about other people, WE fits seamlessly with everything we have going on,” says Lucy Gallagher, the Sciennes Primary School Deputy Headteacher. The Sciennes school community is a picture of strength found through unity.

That’s Lucy’s vision—and the reason 200 pupils from five schools have come together for a WE Schools Youth Summit. “Today, we want you to learn about yourself and issues you care about, but we also want you to mix and mingle, to meet people, to connect with your new friends,” she tells them melodically.

And with that, the day begins. WE speakers lead workshops, games and action plans with each activity stimulating a buzz of conversations, while simultaneously inviting self-reflection.

But even more than that, they make connections—with fellow pupils and between schools.

“Social action, making a difference, caring about other people, WE fits seamlessly with everything we have going on.”

The youth summit is an introduction to WE for Preston Street Primary School teacher Ross Anderson. By lunch, he’s decided to bring WE Schools back to his school. “My pupils are already coming up with ideas and events. There is a vibe now, that if we pool together [between schools] we can do something special. I want to strike while the iron is hot.”

Lucy— who started her teaching career at Sciennes 27 years ago—agrees. “It’s fertile ground here, not only in our school but across Edinburgh.” Throughout the summit, pupils are captivated. They follow closely while WE speaker Alex maps out the history of youth-led social movements. They nod along as he explains that they, too, can raise their voice for issues they care about.

“At any age, your smallest actions can make massive difference,” he tells them.

During workshops led by WE facilitators, pupils absorb inspiration before they begin planning out actions. They talk about protecting refugees rights, fighting discrimination and cleaning up the environment, but it’s nearly unanimous; the issue most pupils care about is homelessness.

“It’s the biggest issue Edinburgh faces,” Ross explains.

After hours of workshops, the groups return to the hall to share their ideas: a sleep in for homelessness with pupils from all five schools; a charity fun run and cake sale for local shelters; and a youth march through the city to raise awareness.

The presentations concluded, there’s excited chatter about future events. For the pupils, being a part of something larger than themselves is a powerful feeling.

“It motivates us, to do more” says Year 6 Sciennes pupil, Natalie. “We get to see we’re not alone.”

As for the teachers, there’s a sense of possibility in the growing community. “You’ve created a network here today that we teachers are very excited about,” Lucy says as the pupils pack up for the day. “You’ve lit a fire and these connections will have impacts for years.”

P5 Carol Singing Raises £510 for @crisis_uk!
We were incredibly proud of all the Primary 5 pupils today, for the continued effort and hard work they have
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Edinburgh Youth Social Action Summit for JGHS Cluster P6 Pupils
We are tremendously excited about an upcoming return visit to Sciennes on Thursday 15th June from WE Movement, again kindly
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‘WE Free the Children’ Returning to Sciennes!
We are tremendously excited about an upcoming return visit to Sciennes on Wednesday 7th December from WE Free the Children,
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P3 Led Foodbank Harvest Appeal P1-3 Assembly WE Scare Hunger
  Thank you to all our families for such generous support of the P3 led whole school Central and North
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P3 Led Foodbank Appeal WE Scare Hunger Assembly
Sciennes WE Scare Hunger Foodbank Assembly 28.10.2016 from Sciennes Primary School On Friday 28th October 2016, Ewan from Edinburgh Central
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