JASS
Junior Award Scheme for Schools

A world wide Accredited Learning Programme for young people. Recognising wider achievement.

Developing Personalisation and Choice – The Tynecastle ‘Me and My World’ Programme.

A staff team of 6 headed up by the RME staff (Religious and Moral Education) run the JASS programme for S1 at Tynecastle High School. The team includes Art, Drama, CDT staff and Service Officers.

An ever growing list of external partner organisations have been sourced for the programme including Gorgie City Farm, Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home, Saughton Prison, B&Q (materials), local nurseries, Redhall School, Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital and The Green Team.

Pupils are given a short presentation on what ‘ Me and My World Option’s are available.  They are issued with choice slips and asked to make a 1st and 2nd choice. Pupils are then allocated a project group with a staff lead who will work with them to complete the Me and My World project over a minimum of 2 terms.  Total cost for all projects: £350

A number of different projects have been developed by Tynecastle, for example:

Tell me a Story

Students  meet with elderly residents of a local care home.  Relationships build as the students engage with them through a variety of projects.  There is a possibility that this project may be extended to the students from Redhall Primary School.

Funding:

  • Milk, Tea and Coffee each week for partners visit – £20
  • Biscuits – £20
  • Tea-party – £35

The pupils gain a great deal from the experience:

Intergenerational learning, appreciation of the experiences of elderly people, empathy, debates on the responsibility for elderly care in society, bereavement and loss and organising and presenting a Powerpoint.

The elderly residents perhaps gain even more. Their relationship with their young people becomes very central in their lives. Relatives and staff at the care home report an ‘enlivening’ of the residents interest in life.

One S1 pupil felt that “The old people taught me so many things about their life. I now know that old people used to be young like us and have lived interesting lives. I will not ignore old people anymore. ”

Centenary Bird Boxes

Students work with staff in designing and making centenary bird houses and bird tables.  They research information about the birds including appropriate feed to put on the bird tables.  Appropriate community groups are approached to house the finished products – nurseries/care homes/community centres.  Pupils work with the chosen community groups to show them how to care for and attract birds.

Funding:

  • Wood, other equipment – £100

I am learning to make bird boxes so that more birds come to Gorgie. We need more birds.”  – S1 pupil .

Knitting for Cat and Dog Home

Students will be taught how to knit simple squares.  These squares will then be sewn together to create a small blanket for the animals at the Dog and Cat home.  Students will visit the centre to observe and help with the care of the animals.  Depending on knitting skills, students will also have the opportunity to knit for the babies in the Special Care Unit.

Funding:
Needles, Wool – £50

I have learnt to knit already I am so happy. My squares will keep a kitten warm this winter.” – S1 pupil.

Centenary Rooftop Garden

Students will work together to fulfil the rooftop designs.  This includes various planters and picnic benches.  Students will grow various fruit and vegetables from seed.  The whole school community will be able to access this garden.  It is hoped it will also become an attraction for ‘Doors Open Day’

Planters and benches have been pre made by inmates at Saughton Prison. (debates about crime and punishment)
Funding:

  • Compost – £40
  • Seeds & Plants – £50
  • Pots – £20

From Seed to Plate

Students will plant, nurture and harvest a variety of fruit and vegetables.  Some of the harvest will be distributed to community wing users. The produce will also be used to prepare a summer salad for the group of students involved in sowing the vegetables.

Funding:

  • The compost, seeds etc mentioned above will also cover this project.

One S1 pupil wrote that “I had a great day today – we dug up lots of potatoes and carrots – I will give some to my gran and her neighbours so they can make soup.

Running for Charity

The pupils started training to be able to run 5K along with one of the staff.

They heard a presentation from the Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital Foundation and decided to run to raise money for this charity.

In May 2013 they completed their sponsored run, complete with charity T shirts and in June at the JASS Awards Assembly they handed a cheque for £256 to a representative from the charity.

One S1 pupil reflected that, “I was in the Sick Kids a lot when I was younger so it is good that I have the chance to raise money for them by running the 5k.  They helped me and now I can help them.”

Further Reflections of Pupils and Teachers

Pupil Reflections

I like that we are out of class because we don’t want to be in a classroom all day and it is an opportunity to learn new things.”

“I enjoy JASS because it gives you opportunities you have never had before.”

“I really enjoy JASS – I get to do things I have not done before – I am getting involved in the school Pantomime and I wouldn’t have done that if i didn’t need to find something for My Interests and I did cycling for Adventure and that was great fun.”

“I am painting the cemetary gates for Me and My World – it shows respect for the people who have died and the people who visit the cemetary.”

“I loved the Adventure day it was like heaven – the sea was sparkling like diamonds.  I wish we could do this everyday.”

“JASS Adventure day was the best day of my life.”

“I had a bad experience with cycling before and I never thought I would ever go on a bike again.  I did though and I cycled for 10 miles and I loved it. I am so proud of myself.”

Teacher Reflections

The experiences enjoyed within JASS are the experiences that will live with our students forever.”

“My students are working with the local nurseries.  It is such a lovely environment to be part of.  The students are happy and meaningfully engaged as they develop confidence and independent learning.  A wonderful opportunity that we cannot provide in the traditional classroom setting.”

“I can’t imagine our curriculum without JASS.”

“JASS allows me as a teacher to get to know my students not just as learners but as valuable interesting passionate young people.”

“The new postive relationships forged over a pair of knitting needles or while making a cup of tea; pulling up weeds or between gasps of air while running; sharing a sandwich or fixing a puncture, has continued into the classroom.  The learning and teaching process back in the classroom becomes a natural sharing process.”