Developing Working Co-operatively
Rutherglen High students were actively engaged in many enterprising activities and the aim of becoming a Scottish School of Co-operation (SSC) was to embed the co-operative values and principles into future activities. The SCC structured approach gave them an ethical, democratic direction, which enabled them to take personal responsibility for decision making in their enterprise activities.
How it developed
Enterprise education has been evident through the e-cafe, ECO committee project (hanging baskets) and Fairtrade events. Skills of Citizenship has been encouraged and developed in Rights Respecting Schools Award, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Caritas Award, Eco Activities and Fair-trade. Pupils are encouraged to share their views and opinions via Student Council Meetings, Eco Committee, RRS Committee and Fairtrade groups and presentation.
The Co-operative Education Trust visited the schools and explained the process of how to become a “Scottish School of Co-operation”. It was immediately obvious that this approach would enhance and develop a values and principles based approach to all the enterprising activities Rutherglen High were already engaged in.
The democratically elected pupil council were consulted and they were all in agreement to work towards becoming a Scottish School of Co-operation and embarked on meeting all the criteria required.
Their application is successful and they were presented with their award at the event CETS organised in Hamilton Town Hall.
Outcomes and what pupils gained
This project has provided pupils with an opportunity to demonstrate the wide range of cooperative working, which is currently embedded within Rutherglen High School.
They had the opportunity to present and share, with other South Lanarkshire schools, what they had been involved in doing at the Hamilton event.
This developed their confidence in taking personal responsibility whilst working cooperatively.
The presentation in Hamilton highlighted how the school had adopted the ethics and principles of Scottish School of Cooperation and gave pupils the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and their success at being successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
They have greater sense of pride in their school and valued being part of a wider South Lanarkshire initiative.
The sustainability of this is in the fact that it is the pupil council who are democratically deciding and agreeing what their next enterprise project will be. Each project will now be run with co-operative values and principles at their heart so the co-operative school model is not only sustainable it is also now embedded.
Staff were given the opportunity to visit cooperative companies and the visits helped to broaden their understanding of cooperatives and how they function. This has enabled staff to adapt current programmes to embrace these ethics and principles.
The Co-operative Businesses we visited were facilitated by CETS
Rutherglen High School has had a Credit Union since 2011 and 25% of the pupils are members and this a partnership with Blantyre Credit Union.
The Co-operative Education Trust Scotland (CETS) visited the school and talked through the various ways in which we could become a Scottish School of Co-operation and offered to speak with our pupil council as well.
Rutherglen High School
Cambuslang G72 8ES Tel:0141 643 3480
Other useful information
We have now looked at the CETS SQA awards in Co-operative studies but feel they are a little too challenging for our pupils as a starting point. CETS have offered support in us developing our own ASN resources and this is what we plan to so in session 2015/16
Co-operative Education Trust Scotland: www.cets.coop
Clansman Dynamics: http://www.clansmandynamics.com/index.php
Media Co-op: http://mediaco-op.net
Greencity Wholefoods: http://www.greencity.coop
Scottish Fair Trade Forum: http://www.scottishfairtradeforum.org.uk/take-action/schools-and-nurseries/
Blantyre Credit Union: http://www.blantyrecreditunion.org.uk