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Primary Pupil Leaders Attend Graduation Event at The University of Oxford

Primary Pupil Leaders Attend Graduation Event at The University of Oxford

This month, pupils from 21 primary schools across United Learning celebrated their graduation from the Student Leadership Programme 2022 during special events held at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford.

The programme empowers pupils to be leaders of positive change by carrying out a social action project to benefit their school or wider community. Supporting pupils in developing important personal attributes such as respect, leadership and responsibility is key to how schools across the Group deliver an Education with Character to their young people.

To kickstart the initiative, in November, pupils attended a virtual Leadership Workshop Day hosted by social enterprise 2-3 Degrees, where they considered what qualities make an effective leader, who they look up to as role models and how they can lead change in their communities. Following this, pupils began working together, supported by their teachers, to devise and carry out a social action project in their school that especially resonated with them.

At this month’s graduation ceremonies, pupils got the opportunity to celebrate their achievements and share what they had learnt. Each team took to the stage to present their project to 80 of their peers, confidently speaking about what inspired them and the impact their hard work has had. They were also presented with framed graduation certificates.

The breadth of projects that were undertaken included:

  • ‘Team Clean!’ at Hanwell Fields Primary Academy to reduce litter and air pollution in the local area;
  • ‘The Community Garden’ at Hunningley Primary Academy to develop a school vegetable patch in support of eco-friendly living;
  • ‘Tranby Social Action Team’ at Tranby to support street pets and their owners;
  • ‘Refugee Save our Soul’ at Walthamstow Primary Academy to raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers around the world;
  • ‘Help the homeless’ at Whittingham Primary Academy to fundraise for those who are homeless in the local community.

During their time at the university, the children also took part in a sample Classics lecture, where they explored aspects of the ancient world such as heroes, myths and philosophy and heard from the university’s Raising and Giving (RAG) Committee about how they can continue to make a positive difference to the people and places around them.

Jessica, a pupil at Ham Dingle Primary School said:

Because of the Student Leadership Programme, I have gained confidence to speak in front of other people, and I’ve learnt that a good leader is one who listens to other people.”

Another pupil, Meyssa, at Walthamstow Primary Academy added:

“Not only did I work with the rest of my student leadership team to carry out this project but we involved pupils across the whole school through our fundraising activities. It was definitely a fun experience! More than anything, I’ve learnt that being a good leader means listening to and respecting other people.”

A pupil at Embley commented:

"It was such a rewarding experience – all the hard work was totally worth it!"

Matthew Wynne, Primary Regional Director at United Learning, said:

“It was fantastic to bring so many pupils together in one room and listen to them interact, share their stories, and celebrate their success through the Student Leadership Programme. We’ve seen a variety of approaches from different schools, with projects taking place both at a local and international level, all of which have been very powerful. Opportunities like our graduation events, where pupils experienced what it’s like to learn at the University of Oxford, are memories that will remain with our children and help to inspire their decision making for the future.”

 

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Posted: Mar 22, 2022,
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