We rounded off a year of great work at Connell Co-Op College with PIE’s Summer of Social Action Project! Caroline planned and delivered the project twice over two weeks with different groups. The purpose of the project was to provide an opportunity for Year 12 students to plug some of the gaps they have had enforced on them over the last 19 months. Many students are thinking of going on to study at University and looking at apprenticeships and they have not had the chance to engage in many of the things they would usually use to impress on their personal statements.
We started by looking at identifying strengths and weaknesses through personality types and then looking at key employ-ability skills. Then we did some planning using SMART targets and budgeting skills for project management.
We looked at the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and linked these to issues which were of interest to the students either within college or their local community. Students then created and used digital branding and social media within their project to promote their social action issue. They then put all of this together to create a presentation on their social action project.
Both weeks were really popular with over 20 students taking part each week. We had a really wide range of social action projects created with some individual work and the majority working in small groups. Projects included food waste, period poverty, Islamophobia, mental health, equality in sport to name a few!
Some of the stand out moments were the discussions we had – it was really interesting to see how students completed the personality tests and often weren’t sure that it matched them but as we progressed to looking at planning and budgeting found it did!
The variety of social action issues we looked at over the 2 weeks was also fantastic – so many issues the students really cared about. These generated loads of amazing discussions and one of the real highlights for Caroline was how open minded and sympathetic to others’ views the students were. They created some fantastic digital assets which some went live with in order to demonstrate their potential and all used to enhance their presentations on the final day.
Caroline said, “I think the quote of the week for me came from the group doing Period Poverty, who when the CO-OP were giving out free ice cream came in saying ‘if they can give out free ice cream they can give out free sanitary products!’ They then followed this idea through in their presentation.”
The students themselves had this feedback:
“Working with PIE helped me understand different positions and perspective, and allows a growth mindset to be in motion.”
“There are more problems in the world than I think, which I want to help with and raise more awareness.”
“I’ve improved my confidence and presentation skills.”
“My biggest achievement was speaking in front of people and understanding project management.”
What great work from the Connell Students, we hope this has really fired your interest in social issues and given you something positive for your future applications and endeavours!