Nadia Steele is the Lead Teacher for YPI at Leith Academy. Leith embodies a whole-school approach to the YPI and develops deeper community and learning connections from the programme. Nadia shares with us their approach to programme delivery, School Partnership Funding contribution, as well as the YPI progression through the school.
“YPI has been part of the Leith Academy calendar for eight years now and is thoroughly embedded into our school ethos. At the end of each year, we try to add in something more to our practice and ensure that YPI is not just something that pupils touch on in S3. To this end, we have built in several opportunities to highlight YPI throughout the school year. The process is detailed in this graphic.
“Our delivery is between October and December. The launch is just after the half-term and is followed up with the a ‘speed dating event’. S3 gets the chance to talk to around 20 charities which we invite in for an afternoon. This is a great opportunity to meet charities for the first time and carry out face-to-face conversations. We have found this a good way of preparing the groups for the kinds of conversations we want them to have with the charity they choose to represent. We give them a script for this, and the groups spend around eight minutes with each charity, not too long in case conversation dries up. We have Social Subjects Ambassadors in S6, and these young people support the organisation of this.
“From year four of YPI delivery, School Partnership Funding kicks in and the school contributes £500 towards the £3000 grant which is awarded. In meeting this contribution, we were keen to involve the seniors and so over the years we have developed a ‘Charity Fair’ as part of the S6 Induction in June.
“The school provides us with enough money to give each group of around five pupils a stake, this year we increased the stake from £5 to £10. The groups then have 24 hours to come up with an idea, buy the materials they need to carry it out, and then sell it to the rest of the school during an extended Friday break. They have to return the £10 stake and there is a competition to see which group can make the most profit. We incentivise the S6 pupils with a £20 gift voucher for the most profitable team.
“This is a really fun and creative activity which sees the S6 cohort involved in team building in a real-life context and it brings YPI full circle as they are ultimately helping to give back to the community and contribute towards something which they benefitted from in S3. In previous years, the Charity Fair has also raised enough money to allow us to give an additional £100 cheque to the second and third placed charities in the Final.
“The Charity Fair raises awareness for YPI in June, well before the launch of the initiative to the next cohort of S3. This helps to keep YPI on the radar and it means that when we do launch it in October, pupils are familiar with what it is. An email is sent out to the whole parent body publicising the event and inviting pupils to bring in a donation that they can spend on the day. Importantly, the Charity Fair is a enjoyable activity for the whole school to participate in during the last few weeks of the summer term and we emphasise that no contribution is too small, pupils can bring whatever they can afford.
“Each year we are surprised and delighted by the ideas which pupils come up with. Particularly successful this year was the group which made and sold friendship bracelets.
“There was a ‘boom boom balloon’ stand which saw pupils pay to burst a balloon in the hope they would pick the winner and receive the prize which was hidden inside.
“One group brought in props and organised a pop-up photo booth. Friends could then pay £1 to have a photo taken and emailed to them wearing the props they had chosen. On a hot sunny day, the ice lolly and ice cream stand always does a great trade too.
“A play on ‘guess the number of sweeties in the jar’ was ‘guess the number of balloons in the car’. Invariably it is the simplest ideas, with the lowest spend, which are the most successful and profitable.
“The atmosphere in the school is buzzing and everyone has fun for a good cause. The Charity Fair has a positive impact as the S6 pupils remember which charity they represented, what work the charity does and many pass on the details of their charity to the younger year groups. After two years of Covid restrictions, it was a highlight of the summer term to bring everyone together.
“This year we have identified S4 as the year group which requires some YPI input. As part of our Maximising Impact efforts, we plan to ask the S4 to give their top tips and advice to S3 through a series of vox pops which can be shown to the S3 classes between October and December. Once again, YPI shows that it can be used to assist with building confidence, developing public speaking, and sharing good practice.”