Takeover Day Projects: pupils turn their ideas into action

Takeover Day is an annual event which all RSA academies take part in and where students from each school are given the opportunity to pitch a school or community-based project for a cash prize. Read about how Takeover Day 2015 went here, which includes details of all the different projects that were presented by each of the academies.

Over half a year later, the schools have updated us on how their projects are going. You can find out about the winning project, RSA Academy’s multi-faith museum, here. The runners-up, Ipsley, asked two students involved in the project, Jack Jarrett and Josh White, to tell us how they’re getting on:

Our smoothie project is about trying to get pupils to be healthier and to earn money to purchase iPads for our after-school clubs. So far our project has made excellent progress – we now sell an average of twenty smoothies a week on a Thursday.  At first, we were only selling a few; now we are selling a lot more, with a record of twenty-six! Ipsley’s favourite flavour is forest fruits, with pineapple and mango a close second. 

We also convinced our local Morrisons to support us by providing us with free fruit.  This has allowed us to increase our profits as fruit can cost a lot. Over time, we have sold more and more smoothies and have so far made a profit of £220.  We hope to buy our first iPad at the end of term.

Ipsley’s 2014 recycling project, which also won the runner-up prize, is also still going strong. The lead teacher on the project had this to say:

The school now has recycling bins everywhere and the stationery shop (originally funded with profits from the seed money from the RSA) is generating a small but steady income that we are using to fund eco projects. The main one at the moment is the development of our allotment.

The Oakland Foundation is helping to supply our Student Council with fruit and vegetables for our RSA smoothie project. They are helping us to link the 2 projects by working with the Wild Eco Club’s allotment to grow fruit and vegetables that can also be used to help the supply of ingredients for our smoothies. This project is our Fork to Fork project! Many of our pupils have no garden, so it has been a great experience for them, which they have thoroughly enjoyed.

Abbeywood First School did a fantastic job on the day of presenting their project ‘Perform Outdoors!’ and won a small cash prize in recognition of this. The money has been put towards improving the outdoor learning space through the reinstating of a garden area which, as the staff lead puts it, “was very old and dilapidated but is now very lovely and inviting and being used by gardening club as well as classes.”

Holyhead’s students, despite not having won a cash prize, have developed their project ‘Homeless Heroes’ further with a video, using it to approach businesses and charities for donations to make their winter survival packs. They have also partnered with Nishkam, a charity that provides homeless people with food, and developed a successful social media campaign (@HomelessHeros15). The project reached the finals of ‘Community Apprenticeship 2016’, an apprenticeship-style competition run by Envision and, although they didn’t win overall, the team did win the prize for best communication skills.

Both Arrow Vale and Whitley projects from 2014 are going strong. Arrow Vale’s winning Patch project saw the students invest the money in new sewing machines and set up ‘Dresses for Africa’, which involved students and staff donating old pillowcases from which the students and volunteers from a local church made dresses. The dresses have now been sent to Africa (see them here). The sewing machines continue to be used in a new textiles club, whose members are helping to design things for Arrow Vale’s art garden. Similarly, Whitley’s Silent Knight project, looking at raising awareness of mental health, continues with newly-introduced yoga classes to help students with stress and more students trained as mentors for the very popular student-led confidential drop-in sessions.

A massive well done to the schools for putting their ideas into action – we can’t wait to see what project ideas are pitched this November for Takeover Day 2016!