Junior Award Scheme for Schools

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

Oaklands School provides education for children and young people aged 3 to 18 years old with severe/profound and complex learning difficulties, including pupils with significant physical and sensory impairments.

Irene Scullion, Deputy Head Teacher, and Annette Irvine, Teacher, have led the delivery of JASS across the whole primary department since 2011.  They’ve found JASS to be a flexible and inclusive award and have adapted it to suit the needs of their pupils. Pupils complete two out of a possible four sections per year, enabling them to complete their Bronze Award by the end of Primary 2, then progress to their Silver Award in Primary 3 and their Gold Award in Primary 5. Thirty children have completed the Bronze Award over two years and twenty-five children are taking part in JASS in 2013/14.

The JASS folder has been adapted to personalise each section and a tick list created to support staff to deliver the award. For example, a school nurse has delivered JASS at home to a pupil often unable to attend school, enabling him to achieve an award.

JASS and the Curriculum

The award recognises wider achievement and Irene has found all the sections can often be completed as part of the work pupils are already doing;

“The Adventure section can be covered through class outings. Me and My World and My Interests can be part of a special class project eg biodiversity or covered with Eco schools projects. My Interests fits beautifully within pupil choices and pupil voice. In order to save paper we now save the photographic evidence onto individual pupil discs which are then fixed to the back of the folder. Great for parents to have a recognised qualification for their child.”

Irene believes JASS helps to demonstrate learning outcomes for pupils across the curriculum, including health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy and social studies. An excellent example of this is the MOVE (Movement for Learning and Life) programme, for which Oaklands was recently awarded the MOVE quality mark. MOVE is a programme shown to improve functional mobility skills and empower children who have complex physical and learning disabilities to better direct their own lives. Completion of the Get Active, Stay Active section of JASS is a great way to recognise the achievements of pupils taking part in the MOVE programme. Irene believes this recognition of pupils’ wider achievements is one of the main benefits of JASS. This is heightened by the fact JASS is an award used in mainstream schools and often completed by siblings

Interdisciplinary learning (IDL) allows practitioners to make links and draw on a range of themes and topics for delivering the curriculum.  IDL is integral to the teaching methods at Oaklands and JASS fits well with this approach. For example, for the Me and My World section, the school is working in partnership with the local church to make food parcels for homeless people entering new tenancies, with the pupils donating food and making welcome cards.

The evidence gathering required for JASS also supports the transition to ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) which provides a framework of activities for developing and accrediting independent living and personal skills.