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20 May 2020

VotesforSchools May Half Term Newsletter

A quick roundup of this half term and a look at what's to come before the summer.

Hello!


Before we summarise what's been happening since Easter and what's to come before the summer, we would just like to express our appreciation for your continued support, enthusiasm and contributions during this time. It's been fantastic to see that our resources are prompting meaningful discussions, whether they are in the classroom, over Zoom or around the kitchen table!
A quick summary of what we’ve been up to:
  • We received some great entries for our first ever Student Voice Awards, and it has been a joy to review them as a team. Sit tight for more updates soon... 
  • The number of students using the SurveyMonkey links to vote from home has been really encouraging, and they have provided us with a brilliant insight into how they are getting on with independent learning, as well as sharing their thoughts on the weekly topics. The Data Reports we are issuing weekly alongside our content reveal more about this, and include a summary of our “Wellbeing Scale” feedback, which highlights how students are finding working outside of the classroom. 
  • On the subject of working from home, the entire team is continuing to work remotely, but we have been trying to keep morale high with Thursday-night quizzes and even a Team Challenge, which includes activities ranging from getting creative with a rainbow window display, to trying to break a world record!

Something to look out for!


As you know, our mission is to ensure that young people feel part of a national conversation and that they are informed and curious about what is happening in the world around them. Over the last couple of months, we have been thinking about the part we can play in helping young people access our resources for the duration of school closures so that this mission continues to be accomplished. Tomorrow we will be announcing an exciting project that we have been fortunate enough to be part of, which we hope will be of great benefit to families around the UK. While we can't reveal too much today, we are keen to extend a huge thank you to the entire VotesforSchools community, who have made us who we are. Keep an eye on our social media pages in the coming days for more information...
 
In just five short weeks, students have not only been around the world, but even to Mars and back! They have also discussed moneychild actors and, most recently, sleep. Without fail, all these topics have sparked fascinating debate far beyond the classroom. Check out a summary below!
We were incredibly lucky to have the help of our friends and family for our topic on Coronavirus advice around the world, receiving videos from 15 different countries! Click here to watch them all on our YouTube channel.
“We were very intrigued, surprised & interested by the results of your debate … We’re not entirely sure what we’d vote, but we understand both points of view and both perspectives.”

Wilf & Rufus, stars of our lockdown video from Spain, also gave us their verdict on the results! Listen to their full comment here.
For our child actors topic, we were fortunate enough to hear from the cast of CBBC's Malory Towers about the pros and cons of being on screen. Click here to watch their video!
“Thank you so much for taking the time to vote, it's interesting to hear what you have to say. It can sometimes be hard to juggle work and school, but personally I think it's worth it. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!”

Imogen Lamb, who plays Mary-Lou in Malory Towers, was also very interested in the results of the debate on child actors.
Finally, here's what you can expect from now to the end of term:
  • 28th May: We're going wild with our next topic after half term as we explore the impact of nature documentaries following the success of the BBC series, Primates, and Netflix’s Tiger King.
  • 4th June: As per our calendar, we will be sending out a special topic to mark Pride Month, celebrations for which take place throughout June. 
  • Date TBC: As the discussions around the potential origins of Coronavirus intensify, we will be asking students to consider the role of conspiracy theories in spreading fake news and the impact these are having in the world today. 
  • 2020/21: As you may remember from our previous newsletter, we have had several requests that we cover organ donation. However, after careful consideration, we have decided to cover this during the next academic year given the sensitive nature of the topic
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