JASS at Balerno Community High School
- 12 June 2018
Balerno Community High School (BCHS) run a comprehensive transitions programme to support young people starting high school. The feeder primary schools for BCHS all run JASS and the majority of the 125 S1 pupils have completed their Bronze and Silver JASS Award by the end of primary school, enabling them to start their Gold Award in S1. As a result JASS has become a key part of the transitions programme.
Sixth year mentors from BCHS visit the P7s at school and go on to support a JASS “community” of pupils with their award at high school. Jacqueline Thompson, Support for Pupils Leader, holds an assembly to introduce each new section of JASS, with 2 sections being completed over 1 ½ to 2 terms. Jacqueline believes both the assembly and involving the seniors as mentors helps motivate the S1 pupils.
As part of the transitions programme S1 pupils complete a residential outdoor activities week, recording their experiences in diaries, which they use for their Adventure section. In December 2013 S1 pupils started their Me and My World section which fits nicely with their participation in the Balerno Christmas Tree Festival – decorating trees with home-made decorations with their school house team, making Christmas cards and playing music at the festival.
Pupils take part in a range of after school activities for their Get Active, Stay Active section, including playing football, rugby and basketball and taking part in dance and gymnastics classes.
Megan thinks JASS is good because “it shows what we do in our spare time” and Robyn likes JASS because it “shows the school our achievements out of school”. Amy thinks “when we get older we can look over it and see the stuff we did at school” and Zeinab likes JASS because she is “able to do different stuff and work towards it.”
Jacqueline Thompson, Support for Pupils Leader, thinks JASS “increases self-esteem and it’s good for schools to recognise wider achievement. It links well to the Curriculum for Excellence and it’s good they can contribute to the world around them.”