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Agents of Change

Agents of Change materials
Agents of Change materials

In our work with primary schools, we at B&C Educational get many opportunities to find out about what is really going in schools.


And, as part of our work, we have had the amazing good fortune to come across a fantastic project, which has been developed by St Lawrence Primary School in the riverside village of Rowhedge to the south of Colchester.


It is a project born in the dark days of lockdown, which is having a major positive impact on the children’s confidence and well-being, both in school and far beyond.


What is the 'Agents of Change' project?

“Agents of Change is a grassroots project aimed at providing children with the tools and inspiration to inform positive change in themselves, their community, and the planet in order to develop confidence in their own impact as they grow.”

The idea for Agents of Change was conceived by the headteacher, Kerry Malcolm, supported by Nelly Randall and Karen Clark. Like many schools during lockdown, it was a challenge to focus on all the children’s needs at once. Some were in school, some were at home with computers and some were at home with limited access to technology. It was a time of anxiety and some alienation. In post-Covid times, there are still issues around children’s well-being, resilience and their general mental health, often manifested in absenteeism and lateness and a dip in behaviour, maybe as a result of habits learnt during lockdown.


How did the project come about?

Agents of Change project poster

Kerry planned the Agents of Change project as a way of engaging the children, their parents and carers and indeed the whole village in purposeful activities. Antecedents may be found in organisations like the cubs, brownies and The National Trust, but she has made the project special to St Lawrence’s.


She benefitted from collaboration with Nelly Randall and her way with words and from Karen Clark, who is a graphic designer, as well as a primary school teacher.


Together, they devised a scheme having forty challenges for the children to accept, based on well-being, mental health, the environment, taking responsibility, creativity, teamwork and connecting with other people. Each activity can be carried out as and when by the children with no pressure to complete activities in a set timeframe.


How has the project developed?

The project has overtaken the school curriculum, with Agents of Change activities being arranged for the whole school, by class and on an individual basis. Pupils' progress is rewarded by having their Agents of Change passports stamped.

Agents of change badges and stamp


The impact has been outstanding: the children are energised and excited by the challenges and this enthusiasm transfers to their all-important work on the National Curriculum subjects.



  • The project has attracted the attention of research academics at Essex University and the University of Kent.

  • The children have presented at a national conference in the Midlands.

  • Proving so popular, the school has been approached by other schools to implement the scheme into their curriculum.


“At St Lawrence Primary, thousands of projects have been completed by individual children and whole classes. They have received letters from David Attenborough, Gareth Southgate and Marcus Rashford. They have featured in local news. They have bought five acres of Rainforest. They have created poetry about anti-racism, stories about gender identity and art about the environment. They have said a kind thing to a neighbour, learned to cook a meal and saved a snail, and they do not plan on stopping there.”


What a great idea. What do you think?

We are so impressed with the 'Agents of Change' project here at B&C Educational. It helps children realise that decisions in one part of the planet can affect people living in a different part of it. It's about how we all share a common humanity and are of equal worth. It means being open to engaging positively with other identities and cultures and being able to recognise and challenge stereotypes. It is also about how we use and share the earth's resources fairly and uphold the human rights of all, which are considered in our unit on Global Citizenship.

 

For more information about the project and how you can incorporate it into your school, please visit the St Lawrence's school website or contact: head@st-lawrence-pri.essex.sch.uk.


For more information about our The Global Citizen key for Key Stage 2 pupils, click here or get in contact with us!

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