Giving opportunities for student leaders
Through a variety of initiatives and an annual conference
Student Leadership is a significant element of the RSA Family of Academies joint working agenda. The RSA8 Programme is a bespoke programme co-ordinated by Arvind Batra at RSA Academy in Tipton and is an opportunity for the students to interact with each other, and come together under a common framework. The aim of the programme is to generate an interest in leadership, especially in students from a disadvantaged background, from a young age, with a view to inspiring these young people to become the leaders of the future.
Each session takes place in a different RSA Academy, Whitley in Coventry, RSA Academy in Tipton, Ipsley in Redditch and Holyhead in Birmingham, with students visiting each academy for a different leadership skill element of the programme. With the training completed, a residential weekend at the University of Warwick takes place in order to put together a social action project to test their newly gained skills to have a wider impact on their own school community. We then hold a formal celebration at the end of the programme where students from each of the Academies are encouraged to evaluate and present the outcomes of their project to their peers, parents, principals, governors and Fellows.
The 2014/15 programme saw students enact the following social action projects:
- Ipsley Academy encouraged more students to participate in drama and performed at their local theatre
- The RSA Academy in Tipton held a poetry slam competition promoting oracy and encouraging Year 7 students to speak publicly – 100 students took part
- Whitley led a campaign to bring music onto their curriculum by first staring an after school club, and were successful
- Holyhead led a campaign to encourage more students to participate in opportunities and enrichment club
All of the projects reflect the ethos of the RSA to bring social change to our communities, and to inspire a new generation to become socially conscious individuals with the skills to support this change. The programme is now running again with a new Year 8 cohort for 2015/16 and again in 2016/17.
Please get in touch with Roisin Ellison at RSA Academies for more information.
Tom, a participant in the 2014/15 programme from the RSA Academy in Tipton, reflecting on the programme explained that, “The RSA8 has been a great experience for me. It has taught me the value of teamwork to accomplish goals. I have made numerous new friends from this group and the other schools. I feel more confident now than I did at the beginning of the year.”