Tain Royal Academy | School Case Study

//Tain Royal Academy | School Case Study

Tain Royal Academy Case Study: Planning for success

Tain Royal Academy Winning Team 2014

Over the last five years Tain Royal Academy, Highlands has delivered the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative programme through their S2 RMPS curriculum.  During this time the delivery of YPI has evolved as the teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the programme has developed.  Here Amy Taylor, Lead Teacher RME and Angela Gardiner, Faculty Lead – History, Geography and RME, discuss their experiences of the programme and how YPI is delivered within the school.

Over the last five years Tain Royal Academy, Highlands has delivered the Youth & Philanthropy Initiative programme through their S2 RMPS curriculum.  During this time the delivery of YPI has evolved as the teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the programme has developed.  Here Amy Taylor, Lead Teacher RME and Angela Gardiner, Faculty Lead – History, Geography and RME, discuss their experiences of the programme and how YPI is delivered within the school.

At Tain Royal Academy preparation for YPI really begins in S1 when students attend the S2 YPI Final.  This is a great opportunity to provide the students with insight into what’s to come the following year. When officially launching the programme in S2, the YPI delivery team play an important role in getting students excited about the opportunity and during the first session students are shown the YPI “Make a Difference” (see below) video along with the video of the previous year’s winning presentation.  This provides an opportunity to explore why the school does YPI and begin reflecting upon how they can use their time and talent throughout the YPI process.

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Students then begin the process of reflecting upon social issues and researching local charities.  Once students have selected a charity, the school encourages the students to make a phone call and meet the charity at least once.  Although this is a challenge the school recognises the importance of supporting meaningful charity engagement, “Sometimes it can be quite difficult for charities to come and visit but we try to facilitate visits to and from the school as much as possible.  The first year we did YPI we took as many groups as possible to charities in Inverness in the school minibus but we found this wasn’t sustainable, so now where visits aren’t possible we do phone interviews.”

For these phone interviews, students must plan the call and do practice calls that include what they are going to say about YPI, how they explain what they are trying to achieve, what to do if they don’t get the right person or if the person at the other end of the phone thinks it is a prank.  This makes sure pupils are confident and ready.

YPI has allowed the teachers at Tain Royal Academy to better understand and build relationships with their students.  Angela explains, “We’re always amazed by how confident they are when they stand up and do their presentations, as well as at their creativity and the things they come up with.  We also get to see our pupils in a different light – see the hidden skills and talents come out that you don’t see in a normal classroom.  We have pupils that are normally very quiet in class and yet they will happily stand on stage and sing or play an instrument – you get to see them in a whole new way.

“You need to think about timescales and deadlines for your final if you want to maintain the enthusiasm and keep everyone motivated.”

Reflecting upon the last five years of YPI at Tain Royal Academy, Amy and Angela know how important the timescale for the programme is. The schools starts the YPI programme at the beginning of the academic year and hold their final at the start of December, before any of the Christmas events start.  This decision was made after their first year of delivery, when the final was planned close to the end of term however the schedule slipped resulting in the final being held in January – which caused a loss of momentum over the Christmas holidays. Amy explains, “You need to think about timescales and deadlines for your final if you want to maintain the enthusiasm and keep everyone motivated.”

Also, having a clear timeframe can support planning and the creation of a real buzz in the weeks leading up to the final.  Amy continues, “Staff are always offering to support the final and add bits to the programme e.g. public speaking, design, music, we even have H.E. getting their pupils to do the catering and the technical department take the presentations and help the teams lay them out properly.  There’s so many people who get involved and they really value YPI, they’re very supportive of it and talk very highly of the programmeNeedless to say, the run up to the final can be quite stressful, so getting everyone on board is a great help, including the office support staff, canteen staff and janitors.  As everyone gets to see the end product, they really value what we are doing and are more than happy to help out.

So, what would be the best piece of advice they’d give to anyone just introducing YPI to their school?  “You need to set deadlines and have a clear timescale.  From a teacher’s viewpoint, you also need to have someone to work with – even if it’s just as a sounding board, or for reassurance and to check your to-do list.  Anyone working on their own on YPI would find it a challenge.”

By |2019-01-13T11:14:30+00:00July 14th, 2017|School Case Study|

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