Currie Community High School – Using senior pupils as JASS mentors
- 12 June 2018
JASS has been running at CCHS since the pilot in 2010 for all S1 pupils at Gold level (an average of 130 pupils).
Currie lies to the SW of Edinburgh in the commuter suburban area and is largely modern family housing built up around the original 19th century mill village. The school has a strong sports club offering and a very good DofE programme that set the scene for the JASS award to be included in their wider achievement programme. The largest intake is from Currie Primary School, who run JASS at Silver level for their P7s. All the other cluster primaries are running JASS Bronze and Silver. This means that a high proportion of pupils are coming to the school already familiar with JASS and with a JASS folder, thus reducing the cost for CCHS at Gold level as only continuation packs are needed.
CCHS’s JASS programme is headed up by DHT Ben Stewart and co-ordinated by the PSE/Guidance staff.
Early in the new academic term a large S1 JASS Assembly takes place and S5 and S6 pupils are there to act as JASS mentors. S1s are given a JASS activity sheet to be able to sign up for activities for their JASS award programme. Mentors help the S1s they are assigned to choose something from the list of after school clubs for Get Active Stay Active (the Active Schools co-ordinators will be on hand to talk about the clubs), to get involved in Me and My World projects that the school is able to offer and to discuss what they might do for My Interests. There is a full year S1 camp that will cover Adventure. For the handful of S1s who do not take part in this, an Adventure day is organised for May/June to allow them to complete this section.
What sort of Me and My World offerings can the school make?
There are charity events and concerts throughout the year. The S1s take on active roles within these – e.g.organising a Burns Supper with music, food, readings. Designing the invitations to parents and posters for around the area, putting an article in the local press, stewarding and setting up and striking down on the night.
The school has a very active Eco programme with a strong group of eco-aware parents and some paid hours for an Environmental Officer working in the cluster. This allows them to develop the eco garden areas, to create community composting and recycling programmes and to link in with other groups, like Friends of Muirend Park and The Water of Leith Heritage Centre. There are often small grants available to support increasing biodiversity and reducing waste. The active PTA members are able to source these.
These events may already be in the school calendar and can be expanded to include the 18 hrs needed for Me and My World. This would also include researching difference charities that the S1s want to give the proceeds to from ticket sales. Half of money may be kept for the JASS programme and half donated to the charity.