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The Award in action

We caught up with Pete, a sixth former taking the Ivy House Award, to hear his take on the learning so far.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned from The Award?

That’s tricky! I think probably the most useful thing I’ve learnt from the Ivy House Award is that I can take ownership over my life. That just changes everything really. And it seems so obvious, I don’t know how I didn’t realise it before.

Great! So how are you taking ownership at the moment?

I try to take ownership now for everything, but mostly my school work. I didn’t do great in my GCSEs to be honest. I was a bit disappointed, but mostly because I felt I had let down my parents. But when they spoke to me about it, I just gave them excuses. I blamed it on the school, the teachers, my friends. The exam questions were too hard, and we hadn’t been taught the right stuff. People used to brag about how little they had revised. How stupid is that?

I know I’m only one year older now but I have changed so much. Even though it was hard to admit, I realised that it was mostly my fault that I didn’t do well at GCSE. This year though, after starting the Ivy House Award, and understanding that my life is completely up to me, I started to work a lot harder.

When we learnt about ownership, I decided that the area I would focus on mostly would be my school work. I really want to go to university, and I probably won’t get in if I don’t do well in my A Levels, and then what will I do? So now, I’ve started to make notes in every class, I am actually doing my homework on time (well most of it), and I am revising for the tests. The weirdest thing is – I have actually started to enjoy it! I am doing mostly humanity subjects, because to be honest I thought they would be easier, but now I am reading more in my spare time, and have found that I really love English – I think I want to be a writer when I am older.

The Award is great at making you think about your future like that.

Do you think other people have noticed the change in you?

My teachers definitely have. I have been getting much better grades, and a few of them have told me that they have noticed I’m putting in more effort, which is really nice. I am now aiming for straight As at A level! My parents were surprised when I made a timetable for my work, but I think they are more surprised that I am actually sticking to it! That’s ownership for you!

What would you say to somebody starting The Award?

Listen! I can’t stress that enough. There is this one part of The Award which basically asks whether you are open to learning new things or not. And it is so easy to just say ‘I don’t need to learn anything’, but there is always something to learn. So yeah, keep an open mind. Every week is different, so you never know what will have the biggest impact on you, but it works best if you put everything together. Also, participate in the sessions. It might feel a little awkward at first to share stuff like that with your friends, but after a while you get used to it and everyone now has each other’s back a lot more than before. I have learnt so much more about my class through these sessions than I knew from 5 years of being at school with them. And I have also learnt more about myself than I have in the past 17 years.

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Recent Awards won by Ivy House