'Changing Futures' is a community cohesion film produced by Year 8 (now Year 9) students from Sir John Thursby Community College and Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College.
Fifteen Year 8 pupils were selected from each college and brought together to discuss and explore one another's beliefs, cultures and backgrounds in a safe working environment. The project has been genuinely student-led and generated a range of opportunities to develop decision-making and leadership skills alongside a range of other creative skills.
The project has been funded by the Burnley Children and Young People's Trust and highlights some of the challenges young people are faced with at school and in their local communities.
The students decided to make a short film and educational resource pack about their experience and use it to share their learning with other schools in the Burnley Learning Partnership. It is anticipated that the students' work will encourage schools and students to explore further how issues of faith, identity and cohesion can be explored in Burnley's schools, contributing greatly to broader cohesion initiatives in the town.
What worked well...
The project enabled the students to open up a dialogue about community cohesion in a creative and practical way. The views and opinions of the students were at the heart of the planning process, generating ownership and engagement.
The students presented the DVD and resource pack to all interested parties including parents, school staff and governors and those who funded the project. The presentation was well received and the students were highly commended on their thought provoking film.
The project was used as part of the recruitment process whilst seeking to appoint a new Faith Centre Coordinator in Burnley. Candidates held workshops with the students to identify ways in which to move the project forward.
It is anticipated that the DVD and resource pack will be used by other secondary schools and in some cases primary schools, in order to facilitate the exploration of similarities and differences between students, communities and schools and in doing so will build strong links between schools and help bridge the transition from primary to secondary.
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