Who are the Learning Ambassadors and why should you join?
The Learning Ambassadors are a group of students from years 8-11 who have applied to be part of this programme and meet once a week to develop new ideas and events that make our school stand out. The Learning Ambassadors help out with a wide range of tasks around school in a Teaching and Learning context, helping to shape the already fabulous education we get here at Parklands High School. Most of our Learning Ambassadors often go on to gain other roles within school such as Departmental Leaders, Prefect or a member of the Senior Student Leadership Team (SSLT). Being a part of the Learning Ambassadors is a fantastic opportunity to gain confidence and new skills and we make new friends in different years in the process. We welcome people who are interested in just about anything, there is a role for everyone in the Learning Ambassadors! Working together, as pupils, to develop Teaching and Learning ideas helps us build skills we will need in later life and help us to stand out in interviews and gives us real life experiences we can draw upon.
Events and ideas we have generated
In school, the Learning Ambassadors help to run many events and activities that we have devised ourselves. Examples of our activities include:
Super Learning Day - This is one of our most popular Respect days as it is prepared and run by the pupils for the pupils. During this day we teach pupils about how to be a better learner and what it means to be a good learner in school. At the end of the day, they get the chance to get a taste a chosen Ambassador groups to get a taste of what leadership is like. It is always really popular and we run this every year.
Training sessions for teachers - As pupils, we have a unique standpoint and we have run CPD for staff and trainee teachers on topics such as “Behaviour techniques” and “Active Learning in the classroom”.
Social clubs for pupils - In September, we run a social club for pupils who have found the transition to high school perhaps more challenging than others. It is a great place for them to find friends and ask any questions.
Mentoring programmes - We also run a mentoring programme to help with aspects of school life such as organisation, homework, friendship groups and more.
Departmental T&L - A lot of our departments have individual Ambassadors and also a representative on our team, who helps with creation of games, activities, homeworks, help videos and more.
Cultural Capital - There has been a big drive at our school on Cultural Capital and affording all pupils with the chance to gain experiences and enjoy opportunities in a wide range of areas.
Social Media - Social media is important for reaching our parents and the wider community and we do this through the use of our school Facebook page. We have a team of people who find out about what we are doing around school and gather stories for us to post and share!
Oracy - Oracy is very important to us and it is a skill we all require in later life to be able to communicate effectively with everyone. We have been working with the English department to develop activities to use in class to promote the best discussions.
Homework club help - At Parklands we also have a homework club which some of our Learning Ambassadors have been attending to help with homework issues.
Assemblies and training of new recruits - Our biggest event of the year is the drive for new recruits. We put on an assembly in the summer term and when it is delivered by our Learning Ambassadors, we get a massive turn out and last year 52 people wanted to be involved! We then go on and train them, which you can find out more about below.
Training to become a Learning Ambassador
After you have applied with the short paragraph as to why you would make a good Learning Ambassador, we invite you to 5 weeks of training, once a week. We train you in 4 areas:
Confidence - Important to be able to help deliver sessions to staff or pupils.
Collaboration - We all need to work together to create great ideas.
Creativity - We need new and innovative ideas to make Parklands even more amazing!
Organisation - We need everyone to remember meetings and complete any tasks on time.
These sessions are run by the Learning Ambassadors and they are a great place to find new friends and build new skills. The Learning Ambassadors create and deliver all of the sessions and then in the final week, you are asked to give a presentation on a topic of your choice where we assess the 4 areas we have trained you in.
Unfortunately, the Learning Ambassadors is so popular that we can’t recruit everyone (even though we would love to) and so we have to discuss each pupil and come up with our final list and we give out our prestigious badges!
T&L red tie role - SSLT
As a Red Tie for Teaching and Learning, my role in school looks at the lives of the pupils but also the teachers. My role is crucial for the constant flow of new teachers and pupils entering Parklands. My role is to work with a team of 6 Learning Ambassadors every Wednesday to create CPD sessions for teachers, where we pitch new teaching ideas, revive older techniques or even present on issues which are important to us. It is important to us that we get our point of view across as we are shaping our education and it is nice to see things from a pupil’s perspective.
Why we focus on building skills
One of the key skills we build as Learning Ambassador is confidence and we do this through presenting to staff and students on a regular basis on a wide range of topics. Super Learning Day is our first event of the year and this really tests the 4 key areas we train recruits in and it is a good marker for the rest of the year as it is SUCH a popular event. Confidence is a key skill to enhance as it will help in the future with job interviews. All of the skills we develop over our time at school and through participation in the Learning Ambassadors will help us with applications as we will have lots of real life experiences we can draw upon to give examples of these demonstrated skills. Collaboration and working with others is another important life skill that we need for the working world as we will always be working and meeting new people that we may never have met before. We are always looking to our applications for prefect and SSLT and having these tangible experiences allow us to be a lot more eloquent and resilient when it comes to applications and interviews.