Takeover Day Update (with video!)

To celebrate the launch of our Takeover Day video (watch it here!), we thought it timely to provide an update on what the academies have been up to since.

To recap, RSA Academies hosted 60 students from across the Family here at the RSA for Takeover Day in November. Part of the day involved each school presenting on a community-based project they had developed, bidding to win various amounts of catalyst grants to a panel of RSA staff ‘Dragons’ Den’ judges. Since then, the pupils involved have been very busy turning their project plans into action.

Arrow Vale students won the overall competition with their project ‘Patch’ – a club which will eventually run across all year groups, encouraging those involved to recycle unwanted clothing by turning them into ‘new’ items to sell to other students or donate to local charity shops. The project’s aim is to address environmental concerns by limiting waste and to put textiles back on the agenda at the school. The Arrow Value eco-committee has since designated a textiles teacher to help run the club, set up a questionnaire to gauge the interest of students and are planning to use their catalyst money to purchase sewing machines and other materials for the club.

Next door, the Ipsley recycling project – motivated by an analysis of classroom bins showing how much could be recycled – has got off the ground with the arrival of new recycling bins, bought with their 2nd prize catalyst funds. The students planned to supplement this with more money raised through bake sales and have so far raised £150, used to buy 15 more bins. The entrepreneurial Ipsley students have also just set up a stationary shop, using the profits to put back into the project. The next phase will be to buy compost bins, the contents of which will be used by the gardening club.

The Whitley Academy team developed a plan for a mental health awareness project, bidding for money to launch a campaign in order to stop mental health discrimination. Students proposed to make a video and create leaflets to distribute to schools in the Family. Since Takeover Day, the team have used their runner-up catalyst money to print the awareness leaflets, which they gave out to all students during assemblies. They have also made a film about mental health called ‘Silent Knight’ due to be shown sometime in March, as well as training the members of student council on basic counselling and child protection. Those trained have then been involved in setting up a confidential drop-in service every Friday, which has been a huge success.