Edinburgh Council has opted to become a co-operative council and wanted all their schools to have some knowledge and understanding of co-operative models. The main focus of this initiative was to engage schools through democratically elected pupil councils connecting with their communities and becoming active, responsible citizens.
How it developed
Duddingston Primary was the first Edinburgh school to apply for and become a Scottish School of Co-operation under Edinburgh Council’s new awards scheme.
CETS had already been working with Edinburgh Council looking at how to raise awareness of Co-operative models across the capital’s schools.
CETS were invited to Duddingston Primary to help the pupils work through the newly structured award in preparation for completing the self- assessment form and the pupils to took full responsibility for carrying out and reporting on all the tasks required.
These are the steps they took
- Looked at the Co-operative values and principles and then simplified them in to words and actions younger pupils would understand
- Organised an assembly where they actively engaged the whole school in understanding what co-operative values are through drama
- Formulated appropriate survey questions to find out how much their fellow pupils and their parents knew about co-operatives and co-operative values.
- Used Survey Monkey to survey their local community and involve them as much as possible as well as conducting classroom surveys with all classes in their school.
- To help other schools understand and share the co-operative message, they undertook to make a short film (see above) and some presentation which could be made available on the council website. They used “imovie” and “powtoon” in creative ways to ensure the message they were sharing was engaging as well as correct.
Outcomes and what pupils gained
Pupils gained a greater awareness of what the democratic process meant, how co-operative values can support and influence their engagement with their school and how they can successfully contribute to their wider community. They developed enterprising skills through taking responsibility for sharing their knowledge at assemblies and with parents.
Sustainability is achieved through the pupils planning to apply for level 2 Schools of Co-operation Award and the following year for level3 which will involve them having an annual enterprising co-operative event in their school.
No additional cost were incurred as CETS developed and funded the awards scheme.
CETS works in partnership with Edinburgh Council and other local co-operatives to support pupils and teachers in learning more about co-operative models and practices.
CETS supported the school with twice monthly visits to work with the house captains and help them to develop resources to share with other schools in Edinburgh.
Other useful information
An event was held at the City Chambers to celebrate and recognise the schools that have completed level 1 and attained Scottish School of Co-operation. They will then be encouraged to apply for the next level 2 and then 3, with the aim of embedding co-operative values and working co-operatively right across their communities.