FOUR Scottish schools and 850 pupils have, last term, successfully completed the ground-breaking Gen+ programme which is now set to be introduced to thousands more students across the country.
The secondary schools which took part in the pilot programme– Barrhead High in East Renfrewshire, Lourdes Secondary in Glasgow, Morgan Academy in Dundee and The Glasgow Academy – have all signed up to continue in the forthcoming academic year.
Gen+ projects that their programme to equip every young person in Scotland with world-class leadership capabilities and meta-skills has a potential reach of 360 schools and 290,000 young people within the next five years.
Victoria Vardy, CEO of Gen+, said: “Supported by the Peter Vardy Foundation, Gen+, has one overarching ambition: to provide every child in every classroom with a leadership and personal development programme that helps them recognise and develop their unique skills and talents. Our vision is to equip and inspire the next generation to have the skills and confidence to learn, lead, and thrive.
“Through six meta-skills focused modules, the programme teaches students leadership, resilience, collaboration, communication, initiative, and organisation, allowing them to reflect on and develop their capabilities.
“The test and learn pilot, launched last year at an event addressed by former Scottish rugby international Gavin Hastings, has been embraced by both educators and students and has been a resounding success.
The Gen+ lessons have been taught as part of the pilot schools’ Personal and Social Education curriculum. They are being delivered by classroom teachers using a blended learning approach: students work through activities on a bespoke, interactive, digital platform and participate in offline group tasks and discussions.
Johnny Lothian, Head Teacher at Morgan Academy, said: “GenZ Leaders has been a remarkable success and has been well-received by the first-year pupils who participated. It complements existing provision to help pupils get to the best post-school destinations.”
Donnie MacLeod, Head of Service, Education Services at Glasgow City Council, said: “We are pleased to have been able to facilitate this innovative extra guidance for pupils at our schools and complement the work our schools are doing in this area. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gen+ for helping to develop the skills necessary to deal with the complexities of a world that faces unprecedented challenges – particularly after the last two years of the pandemic.”
The Gen+ programme is designed to inspire young people to see themselves as part of a wide cohort of young leaders who support each other and their local communities and engage with global issues. Its fundamental premise is that anyone has the potential to be a leader and that early interventions are the most positive and long lasting.
While Gen+ has enterprising long-term plans, its current ambition over the next three years is to deliver the
personal development and meta-skills programme to over 100 secondary schools, involving around 50,000 young people. The Peter Vardy Foundation has committed to funding the programme for its first three years.