Last year Big Ideas partnered with a group of amazing young people from Newham to support them to create and run their own bespoke workshop as part of School 21’s Real World Learning Programme. This placement scheme sees groups ofYear 10 students make regular visits to  local organisations for sustained and authentic work experience. 

Our group of four students were passionate about the Big Ideas’ inclusion work in education.  They reached the conclusion that a workshop written by and for young people like themselves could have a positive impact.

The students at work at the Big Ideas office.

The students running their exciting starter quiz.

The students decided they would like to focus on the complicated transition from Year 6 to Year 7. The students felt that this was often a hard time and Year 6 students need more support to make the change as smooth as possible. 

Taking inspiration from Big Ideas’ work in the digital space they decided to create a digital pre-recorded workshop. This also had the added benefit of being easy to distribute to teachers so even more Year 6 students could benefit. The idea was to create an informative video that included activities, myth busting and personal anecdotes about Year 7 that teachers would simply be able to play to their Year 6 classes.

Once the workshop was ready they invited a small group of Year 6 students from School 21 to take part in the workshop.  Once the workshop was ready they invited a small group of Year 6 students from School 21 to take part in the workshop. The Year 6’s arrived and the Real World Learning students sprung into action and ran the entire workshop themselves. 

The opening quiz was very well received and made the Year 6 students feel at ease. As well as the information and activities on the slides there was also time for a more informal discussion and Q+A. This discussion covered a range of topics from favourite subjects to bullying. One Year 6 student shared his personal experience of bullying and the Year 10’s were empathetic and gave advice on what to do should this happen again.

“Bullying is a massive issue in young teens. If you go through this [bullying] – don’t go through it on your own”

The Year 10s discussing how they made friends in Year 7.

The ‘Moving to Year 7’ workshop in full swing.

Afterwards the students agreed that their workshop had achieved its aims and were proud of the work they created. 

“All of us had a really good time. After seeing the impact we have made, I would love to do our workshop to a full Year 6 assembly.”

“They (the year six students) were saying how much they had learned. I feel this is something that has to be addressed.”

Speaking about the project more broadly, the students stated that they had learnt a great deal and were very pleased with what they achieved during their time at Big Ideas.

“Personally, I felt that the project was incredibly engaging and fun. The project covered a wide range of imaginative topics and sparked many original thoughts. The project was successful overall.”

Working on the Real World Learning Programme further cemented Big Ideas commitment to youth led social action and empowering young people to be the change they want to see. These young people demonstrated what can be achieved when we allow young people to lead their own ideas. That’s why at Big Ideas we always seek to prioritise and empower the voices of young people. We also work with St Mary Mags and signed the I Will Charter.

The Real World Learning students in discussion with the Year 6’s.

The Year 10 Real World Learning students with the Year 6 workshop attendees.