I am employed by the Diocese of York as Faith in Education worker in Hull. I and have the remit of strengthening and creating new partnerships between schools and churches with the purpose of enhancing education and recognising the resources available within the local church.
I am working with others on a schools project for 2007 in order to make the best use of the fantastic opportunity that a national commemoration of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act brings. This is a great way to communicate the possibilities for change to the young people in schools who may struggle with low aspiration, low attainment and difficult circumstances accompanying their learning. Based in Hull, I am excited to be able to use the example of Wilberforce, himself a son of Hull, who chose to get involved in order to make a difference.
The project idea is based around ways of involving students in making their own video, taking one aspect of the many themes of abolition – historical, inspirational, motivational, social, current issues of social justice – and using multi-curricular methods of creativity, putting together a video to express their thoughts and feelings. These videos will then be collated and displayed publicly on a video wall or in a well-used place (railway station, post office, etc.) so the messages from the young people can be heard by their local community. It could be incorporated into the schools' Citizenship Programme and be adopted as a cross-curricular ‘day for freedom’, or could take place over a series of weeks, building on the skills and knowledge from different lessons.
Coming from the making of the video will be ‘Dream Big’ groups, of young people supported by local church members, who can talk about how to make a difference, both in their own individual lives, and where they live. The purpose of these groups will be for adults other than family to be able to get behind the visions and dreams of young people and facilitate change.
I would love to hear from anyone else working with schools, particularly secondary school level, who would be interested in linking up with this project. Do contact me at