Norwich students help shape future of education

Norwich student’s feedback their recommendations about improving education in Norwich learning from a trip to Southend-on-Sea

35 Norwich pupils from Year 7 to 12 took part in a trip to Southend-on-Sea to investigate the seaside town’s rapid rise in social mobility since 2016.

The kind of changes they want to see include more robust and consistently applied behaviour policies, building on the mutual respect between teachers and pupils and creating a shared responsibility for learning to help them make the most of every opportunity.

Norwich Opportunity Area (OA) Youth Board and local pupils reported back their findings to head teachers, the Norwich Opportunity Area (OA) Partnership Board, and representatives from the Department for Education on April 26th.

Community Innovation Fund … Round 2!

We have four very exciting new projects in the pipeline but space for a few more!

We have re-opened the Community Innovation Fund for a second round looking for providers to deliver a CITYWIDE project and some LOCALITY projects. The deadline for both is 4pm Friday 7th June 2019. Find out more information here.

If you have any queries about the application form or would appreciate feedback about your project ideas we are holding an informal funding drop in session on Thursday 23rd May, 3-5pm at Marzanos (The Forum, Norwich) – come and say hello!

This fund looks for approaches that can encourage children and their families to have conversations about different types of jobs and think together about their skills, interests and future goals. Our intention is that more conversations take place and at an earlier age, with a focus on primary aged children and pupils in the early years of secondary school.

Please see our latest tender opportunities-

Community Communication Champions Evaluation & Consultancy

To support parents, Norwich OA have developed a strategy to support families with home learning.  This has included recruiting a team of Community Communication Champions who each work with a target ward in Norwich: University, Wensum, Mile Cross and Catton Grove.  Champions support neighbourhoods in each of these four wards and make introductions with parents least likely to engage with support and encourage/accompany them to group speech and language sessions in their local area.  Champions also provide resources, run group sessions within target neighbourhoods and link with local resources and support to stimulate language development in early years. We are looking for a provider to complete an evaluation of this innovative work.  The purpose of this evaluation and consultancy support is primarily to determine what difference the home learning interventions have made, and whether children and parents who have been involved in the activities feel and/or derive any benefit from them.

What a difference a day makes…

…Just 24 little hours at the UEA over 5 days in the run up to Easter studying English, Maths or possibly even both!

We took the learning from this great collaborative project that our friends in the Ipswich Opportunity Area have implemented over the last year and had a go here in Norwich. In Ipswich schools have reported that students aiming for a 4 or 5 that took part have improved their grades in school assessments significantly.

Some of our best English and Maths teachers volunteered their services to come up with a sequence of high quality lessons that target the key knowledge and skills students need to gain a strong pass in these key subjects.

The Maths team – Richard Moore and John Dempsey from Sewell Park Academy, Lead Teacher Mo Ali, and Holly, both from City of Norwich School.

Year 11 students arrived from 7 of our NOA schools – Open Academy, Jane Austen College, Hewett Academy, City of Norwich School, Sewell Park Academy, Notre Dame High School and UTC to do Maths in the morning or English in the afternoon, with a number of students committing the day to do both.

The first session has got us off to a great start, with teachers and students agreeing that its been really useful to attack these subjects in a fresh setting, with a different approach and with the chance to meet new people and see the UEA. William Bach, a student from Hewett said: “I’ve found this experience really rewarding, and its given me lots of reminders of key things ready for my exams soon, it was quite easy to get to the UEA thanks to the bus passes we were given”.

So the ingredients of a day that makes a difference?

  • 90 students keen to nail those pass grades
  • 4 Maths teachers, and 3 English teachers with some great resources
  • 2 members of pastoral staff to keep everything running safely and smoothly
  • 8 NOA headteachers collaborating, planning and sharing across schools
  • A free bus pass for the day
  • Pizza (of course!)
  • A tour of the campus at lunch time
  • Some superb amabassadors provided by City of Norwich School and the UEA

Norwich students help shape their future

Young people from Norwich learnt about social mobility by visiting their peers in Southend-on-Sea to discover how education is helping them fulfil their potential.

The group of 35 Norwich pupils, from Year 7 to Year 12, joined a ‘learning buddy’ in classes and took part in careers activities in Southend – an area that has made rapid progress in social mobility since 2016.

They also held discussions with students, teachers, support staff and council representatives when they visited Eastwood Academy, South Essex Further Education College and Southend Adult Community College.

Pupils will now present their learning to key stakeholders including headteachers and the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area (OA) Partnership Board to help them improve outcomes for young people in Norwich.

Tim Coulson, chair of the Norwich OA board, said: “The trip to Southend was designed by the Youth Board as part of their work to ensure local young people have a voice in the Opportunity Area programme and to bring back learning from an area that has achieved rapid progress in social mobility.

“Norwich OA schools and colleges identified students as young leaders from their school who would most benefit from the cultural and educational experiences and those who were passionate about making a difference in the lives of all young people in Norwich.”

Ryan Bedwell-Woods, member of the Norwich Opportunity Area Youth Board, said: “The Youth Board students have come away with lots of ideas of how to improve social mobility in Norwich to help them and future generations. I feel inspired that as young people in Norwich we can make a real difference to the lives of others in this way.”

Pupils learnt about Eastwood Academy’s Student Leadership Team and the responsibilities they take on within the school as part of the three-day trip from Wednesday March 20 to Friday March 22.

They met the Deputy and Vice Principals of South Essex FE college to understand more about how outcomes for disadvantaged students are championed across the college as well as hearing about the support students receive around future career pathways.

The pupils, from University Technical College Norwich, Open Academy, Notre Dame High School, The Hewett Academy, City of Norwich School and Sewell Park Academy, also met Community Relations and Consultation and Engagement officers from Southend-on-Sea Council to find out about its ambitions for the area and ‘Southend 2050’ – a public consultation about the kind of place people want Southend to be and what needs to be done to get there.

Students who helped create the ‘Norwich 2040 City Vision’ met with Southend’s Youth Mayor and Youth Council Chancellor to understand more about the ‘Southend 2050’ engagement programme and how young people have been involved.

They also visited London to explore the city and took group selfies in front of cultural spots, interesting architecture and places they would love to work in the future.  

Research shows that learning through arts and culture can have a positive impact on health, educational attainment and future employment and the pupils were given the opportunity to watch West End show Les Miserables as part of the experience to help raise their aspirations for the future.