At Yeading Junior School, we consider all staff and children to be Agents of Change – people who are ready to take action in support of others, both locally and globally.
Special Agents of Change are children who’ve shown a powerful desire to lead change, in and out of school. Some have already been able to demonstrate the difference they’ve made. These inspirational young people understand the process of doing good and recognise the impact it has on themselves. This recognition spurs them on to do even more, and their infectious motivation creates a ripple effect throughout the school.
We give the role added prestige by asking children to apply to become Special Agents of Change. They need to demonstrate things that they’ve done or want to do, and show their understanding of our school’s Character Virtues. They then take part in an interview process. Undaunted, they recognise this as their opportunity to shine. Once appointed, we ask Special Agents to live up to our teamwork virtue, by forming a strong leadership team.
Social action has long been at the heart of our work here. It’s sustained by the full engagement of the leadership and governors of the school, together with the commitment of staff, parents and children.
Our virtuous learning programme was influenced by a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities both in and out of school. We’re outward facing, in terms of local and national developments, and have forged strong links with a range of partners. Our CPD isn’t static – we reflect on it, and refine it to fit our current priorities. We also think it’s essential to ensure everyone understands, follows and promotes our Character Virtues. Parents fully support this approach, because they see the benefits of their children working in this way, and the positive impact it has on their communities.
We embed social action in our school in several ways. Our assemblies focus on the virtues and we grab every curriculum opportunity to grow children’s understanding of the importance of social action and its impact. More than this, we constantly remind them they can make significant positive changes to others.
We’ve introduced visuals that aid virtuous learning, including agent cards, your choice cards and reflection cards. And to support teachers in their delivery, we make sure the projects have a direct link with class teaching. For example, a whole school project on homelessness. Our Financial Education programme also provides a vehicle for exploring life skills that link directly to our virtues.
Our Special Agents of Change have become so adept, they’ve even inspired the adults around them to take practical action for the homeless. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next…
Carole Jones, Headteacher at Yeading Junior School.