A new start

It’s an exciting day – for me, anyway. It’s not a public holiday, there are no new babies, or birthdays or big stories. It’s exciting because we are reopening The Award for 21-22 schools and students and I just love that in a few weeks, 3,000 students and staff around the world will be accessing life-changing learning through The Ivy House Award.

We have come a long way in two years.  Starting with a pilot group of students and schools and almost completely rebuilding after year one, surviving Brexit and thriving through C19, hearing some amazing stories from young people facing very challenging environments in schools and bubbles – we are out the other side and ready to go.

The Award is my baby (I have said that before). I have an actual human baby, well, he turns 21 this year so won’t thank me for that statement, and he means the world to me. But this, this beautiful, deep learning programme, specifically designed for teenagers 15-18 fills my heart with joy. I am excited for them to learn about who they are, what’s important to them, how they can improve their communication, their relationships, take ownership for creating the life they want to live, pitch themselves, present themselves powerfully as they complete their school journey and move on… I just love it!

This academic year, 3,000 young people will feel more empowered to own the direction of their lives and will become more mindful of the role they play in their own lives and the lives of others. What’s not to love?

Many of this cohort will have navigated some choppy waters over the last couple of years and may well be coming to this school year with anxious thinking about their studies, their social connections and their futures.  The Award will help them to process that thinking and hopefully realise that they still have passions and strengths, can still know how to build meaningful relationships and, when the time comes, powerfully pitch themselves in personal statements, interviews or whatever their next steps are.

School staff that are passionate about putting human development at the heart of education will work with and through a learning programme that will help them too. Supported by some fab resources and the team at Ivy House to facilitate great learning and support students to access opportunities they might not have done previously; they will have some amazing conversations. I know that, because I have these conversations myself when I am facilitating groups working together through The Award.

It’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my many years of working and that’s why it’s an exciting day. 

Interested to know more about The Award?

By Vicky Gerrish, Ivy House London
20th August 2021

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