Common Good Schools Programme
How can we prepare young people to cope with an uncertain future?
Together for the Common Good's unique 10-week Common Good Schools programme enables young people to take personal responsibility and put the principles of Common Good thinking into practice, respecting the dignity of each human being, contributing to positive social relationships, demonstrating stewardship and valuing community.
The components of Common Good Schools draw on Common Good Thinking and are designed to enhance character education by encouraging independence of thought and an understanding of humanity that enables young people to discern their unique vocation in relationship with others. The programme is designed to help a school foster greater community engagement and pride at a local level.
A precursor of the Programme was developed by Together for the Common Good in partnership with Peter Bull, head of RE at Alsop High School, Walton, Liverpool. This became two initiatives - 'HOPE 2016: working together for the Common Good', a month-long programme in January 2016, followed by 'FAITH 2017: working together for the Common Good', a six month programme in 2017. Both aimed to encourage young people to take responsibility, build local pride and to promote the Common Good - fostering collaboration between local schools, community organisations, churches and faith groups. Both won awards.
“I saw a school not just IN a community, but a school LEADING a community. This community has its share of problems. At Alsop I saw only solutions.” – Alastair Machray – Editor – Liverpool Echo
The impact of HOPE 2016 on the local neighbourhood was evident, with local people commenting that it had a ‘positive ripple effect upon both the schools involved and the wider community.’ As a result, Alsop High School won the WOW Educate Award in the North West, “for their outstanding work to foster community cohesion and develop pride in the wider community of North Liverpool.” The initiative was also shortlisted for a TES Schools Community Impact Award.
Building on the success of HOPE 2016, T4CG then developed a Common Good Schools toolkit which was used by local partners planning FAITH 2017. FAITH 2017 was awarded the Community Partnership Award 2017 by Educate Magazine and was shortlisted for the National Crimebeat awards.
The Common Good Schools Programme is designed for KS3&4, the programme includes a complete set of off the shelf materials: ten assemblies, ten lesson plans, student worksheets, powerpoint presentations and a community engagement guide.
It helps schools meet Ofsted Requirements – fulfilling a number of the criteria:
It develops the spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness of those who work with it.
It encourages reflection, enjoyment and fascination in the students to learn about themselves, and the constructive role they can play within the context of the local community.
The lessons ask participants to use their imagination and creativity, and to value not only their own but each other’s gifts and abilities.
As the exploration into value and dignity takes place, there will be an understanding of the consequence of behaviour and actions whilst the programme also develops an interest in investigating and appreciating the viewpoints of others. As the programme progresses, character is strengthened as a deeper understanding of personal responsibility and purpose develops.
Find out more here.
Could this also be used for church youth groups?
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Geoff Knott, 08/01/2020