YSI International Awards Programme
This Programme is available to post primary schools outside Ireland who want to enhance their student and teacher skills in innovation, entrepreneurship and support an ethos of value based innovation and youth voice in their school community.
The Programme is designed to support educators in post-primary schools internationally, helping them to engage their students (13-19 years) in social innovation education and action and to turn their ideas for change into action with real social impact.
About the Programme
This Programme is designed for schools and educators who want to create opportunities for their students in post-primary education to contribute to social change and develop a wide range of new skills. It engages them in social innovation learning and practice and empowers them to create real and meaningful social change.
Students become part of a wider community of change makers and social innovators which is made up of thousands of teenagers across the globe. Furthermore, it gives young people the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Programme includes educator training and quality online resources, packed with activities and ideas for educators and students.
Students work in teams to identify the social issues they care about, consider social changes they would like to see, and put in place new and innovative ideas to bring about this social change.
The Programme allows students to engage in problem solving and apply their learning to the social issues that concern them. It helps to amplify student voice and agency, giving young people a chance to influence the communities they live in.
The learning is youth-led, with teams guided by a trained educator or adult mentor who helps them on their journey, creating a safe and inclusive learning environment.
It links the school community to a network of schools engaged in social innovation education, giving access to a unique wealth of experience.
How it is Delivered
The Programme is facilitated by educators in post-primary level education, who offer encouragement, support, and advice to help teams of students reach their full potential.
Supported by teacher training and worldclass resources, the Programme builds resilience and wellbeing and promotes youth participation, youth voice, and community volunteering.
Learning is youth-led and action-based. Participation builds 21st-century skills such as: critical thinking and ideation, communication and advocacy, design-thinking and planning, literacy, numeracy, and computational skills, teamwork, value-based learning and knowledge around social change, sustainable living and global citizenship.
How it Works
- Schools begin by completing and submitting an Expression of Interest to YSI, which is authorised by the school Principal.
- A minimum of 2 teachers will be required to participate in programme training.
- School representative/s are then invited to a brief meeting with a YSI IAP trainer. This provides information to assess how the school fits with this Programme and to determine the availability of training places and requirements for the Programme.
- If successful, participation in the programme is confirmed by YSI and an outline of key elements will be provided.
- The school teacher(s) are then invited to attend two online training sessions. Training is carried out in the English language.
- Schools who have participated in the Programme for 3 years can apply to receive the YSI Innovate Flag or Plaque.
Integration with curricula
- Participation in YSI’s International Awards Programme complements the Middle Years Programme of the IB and can form the basis of students’ MYP Project. It is also ideally suited to the Diploma Programme its focus on service within CAS.
- It allows young people to display a wide range of skills and achieve the Learning Outcomes of the Service as Action component of the International Baccalaureate.
- YSI projects involve teams of young people completing a significant piece of work over an extended period and enable students to “engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection.” (https://www.ibo.org/programmes/middle-years-programme/curriculum/myp-projects/)
- YSI IAP also compliments the British, French and Local Curricula.
- The values of social innovation and social justice can be integrated into academic subjects, interdisciplinary units and the broader school curriculum and culture.