OAT launches #WeWill to over 200 members of staff

Over 200 delegates had the pleasure of being immersed in youth social action and exciting new development, at the recent Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) annual conference, held in Nottingham.
In 2018, OAT secured £2 million of funding from the #iwill fund and our national charity Ormiston Trust. Across their network, their academies used the funding to support the aims of the then, pioneering, youth social action campaign, #iwill. A campaign, that at its core was to make a positive impact on the lives of young people, through social, emotional and life skills learning (SELS). Going on from the individual, the campaign was to further promote meaningful social action to surrounding communities, through themes such as eco-initiatives, working with local council groups, and building relationships with the elderly.

The campaign was a humungous success, even with the Covid-19 pandemic thrown into the mix. The projects to arise were first determined by the young people involved, through steering groups and pupil councils. OAT pupils worked together to form an array of inspiring sustainable social action projects, that will forever hold a legacy for
the campaign. With forty projects, the Trust, surrounding communities, and its funders were blown away.

Delegates to the conference were first introduced to the newly developed youth social action campaign, #WeWill, on opening day. Launching the campaign was Ormiston Trust’s, Chief Executive Officer, James Murray, OAT’s National Director of
Teaching, Tuesday Humby, OAT’s National Director of Education, Rob Pritchard, and the Chair of OAT’s National Student Voice and presenter for the conference, year 11 student from Tenbury High Ormiston Academy, Hollie Weaver.

Delegates had the pleasure of attending four workshops being presented by social action staff leads and a student presenter from OAT’s Student Voice teams across the UK. The workshops detailed eight social action projects that would work alongside the curriculum and the Gatsby benchmarks. Taking lessons learned from #iwill the OAT staff really tailored the projects to the most popular themes, while also giving ample amounts of space for young people to make their mark.

In addition to the eight projects, #WeWill
Sing, #WeWill Perform, #WeWill Cook, #WeWill Be Cyber Safe, #WeWill Protect, #WeWill Care, #WeWill Explore, and #WeWill Recycle, there is also a strand called #WeWill Engage. Engage will work across all projects, to ensure diversity and inclusion is at the centre of all they do. While also
making each project accessible to SEND
individuals, groups, whole academies and

The presenters, both staff and students, didn’t miss the opportunity to discuss these projects more, by opening a #WeWill talk time at the end of the launch. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the projects and hone in on the project that might be best suited for their academy. Student Voice members also practiced their interview and production skills, by filming delegates to gain feedback, which was
undeniable positive.

Student Voice member, Joshua from Ormiston Horizon Academy said,

“OAT has a lot of influence, therefore, using this power to bring these issues to everyone’s attention will certainly assist with our world’s future. We already know that children are the future, so by teaching them what is right and wrong- we can evoke true change!”



With Ellie from Stoke High School – Ormiston Academy, adding,

“It is so important for us to be involved in social action as it brings us together to highlight problems in society, but to also set our differences apart and work together.”

Now the OAT academies are involving other members of staff and their young people to help decide which of the projects they will start in the new year. We look forward to seeing OAT’s young people take the lead with their social action projects, as well as seeing our Ormiston family do the same.




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