Recommended age group: 11–18
Time required: varies
Challenge your students to work in groups to plan and deliver the afternoon's programme for a community group (for example a day centre for older people). Students must commit to demonstrating the Values throughout and include a mini-presentation, display or activity centred on the Olympic and Paralympic Games during the actual event.
- Celebrate previous Olympic and Paralympic Games and/or include information and images of future sports events.
- Design an Olympic/Paralympic quiz or table-top versions of the sports, to encourage all guests to participate and engage.
- Perform songs, dance, and poems or put on a small play, linked to the Games and /or the Values.
- Arrange locally themed event – inviting a visit from a local athlete to talk to guests, a local Torchbearer's story, or linking to the audience members' experiences of Games past.
It's all in the planning!
- The whole group needs to decide on the programme, when and where it will be held and who exactly they will be inviting. If time permits, you could put the students in teams and ask them to come up with their top two ideas to present to the rest of the group. The final decisions about what to include on the programme, what kind of refreshments to offer, who to invite and how they will contact them, etc., could then be decided by a show of hands.
- Begin to make a list of ideas for the Olympic and Paralympic Games element of the afternoon. Will this be a film, a presentation, a performance, a quiz, a creative wall display or a combination of some or all of these?
- Display and discuss the Values (Olympic: friendship, respect and excellence. Paralympic: determination, courage, equality, inspiration) How are the groups going to commit to, and demonstrate, these Values throughout the project?
If a wall display is part of the plan, this could be an opportunity to engage other groups of students and colleagues, such as the art or PE departments, in your project.
To plan the afternoon's programme, the students could work in teams of four to six. Each team will have a specific focus and area of responsibility. Each team should nominate a Team Leader or Project Manager who can then liaise with you.
Each group will need to consider potential risks and show awareness of health and safety, accessibility and expenditure, e.g. paying for the refreshments.
Who else might be able and willing to help?
Encourage the students to identify other people in the school community who might be willing and happy to help, either during the planning stages or on the day, e.g. non-teaching staff, parents/carers/grandparents or Governors.
Team roles and responsibilities
Each team member should be assigned a role and job title.
- Publicity team – to include booking the event in the school calendar; writing invitations and communicating with relevant target groups; communicating with the local press; presenting an evaluation to the school Governors.
- Hospitality team – to include risk awareness; preparation and serving of food.
- Entertainment team – to plan and arrange the event including material or performance related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and/or the Values.
At the actual event, all team members will be responsible for ensuring the guests are having the best time possible. The group can decide how to achieve this aim but as a minimum, perhaps each student could also be allocated a guest to sit with and talk to.
Rewarding the Values
Reward those demonstrating the Values throughout the planning, preparation and delivery of the project.
Students should be encouraged to set themselves personal targets and be recognised for meeting them, e.g. speak to an unknown group of people (courage); lead a team involved in the project (inspiration); ensure those with impairments are given equal access and respect (equality/respect).
Award each member of the team a Values certificate.
The final phase of the project should be a time for reflection and evaluation. This could lead to a presentation to the Governors and consideration as to the sustainability and legacy of community projects like these as part of your school ethos and school development planning.
How do you build on this initiative and what might be a lasting outcome? In this case, members of the group might go into a local residential home to read and/or perform; older people could be invited to the dress rehearsal for the school play or come to see sports day, or a similar framework could be adapted for a different audience.
Foster an ongoing commitment as a school to the Olympic and Paralympic Values and to forging positive relationships with your local community.
- Ask the student council/student voice committee to make the planning of a community project, such as this one, part of their annual brief. Student representatives could talk to their peers about their ideas and consider how different classes and year groups could get involved.
- Consider engaging with different community groups on an annual basis, e.g. this academic year, you could focus on older members of the community; next year, you might decide to support mothers and toddlers and so on.