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‘Going further, faster...’’ - Seth Pinnock

Symphony Schools

The vision of Symphony Schools is to use the collective knowledge and wisdom of our community to push young men from inner city areas of Birmingham towards greater levels of success.

Symphony Education will begin by offering holiday clubs during school vacations for boys aged 11-18 with a view towards expanding into tutoring and afterschool or weekend provision.

The Symphony Education curriculum will not only cater towards individuals’ academic success but it will also help to develop students’ character and self esteem. After one year on the programme all participants should be able to answer the following three questions with a greater degree of certainty:

  • What do I have to give?
  • Where can I serve?
  • What do I love?

We will aim to forge partnerships between schools and churches in inner city areas of Birmingham, which will be the foundation on which the holiday clubs are built. Students can sign up individually or be recommended by family members or their school. However there will be an expectation that all boys must be committed to the process and to realising their own potential.

What

A holiday club designed to build the character of young men so that they are able to achieve success in every area of their life including academia. The holiday clubs will run during every school vacation and cover the following topics:

  • Autumn half-term: Give
    Boot camp activities and developing the concept of excellence and giving your best in every situation
  • Christmas vacation: Serve
    Leadership and practical volunteering and service
  • Spring half-term: Love
    Work experience placements and career-related activities to help young men recognise their purpose
  • Easter vacation and summer half-term: Revision sessions
    Exams will be upon us so the focus of our classes will be on revision and achieving academically
  • Summer vacation
    A summer residential to reinforce the messages of the year and build a platform for success

Why

Historically the church across the UK has made a massive impact on public education. The church was among the first to offer a free basic education to all people: teaching children how to read, write and do basic arithmetic. This action triggered a snowball effect on our education system and encouraged our government to fund free education for all people regardless of their background, empowering everyone to have the tools to actively improve their future and move towards the biblical ideals of ‘life in all its fullness’.

In recent years researchers have found that children from particular post codes and financial backgrounds are persistently doing worse than their peers; achieving lower grades at school and progressing at a much lower rate into university (more – links https://www.theguardian.com/education/2006/feb/28/schools.education).

Within this figures boys from lower income backgrounds perform much worse than girls (www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Boys-to-Men.pdf). Some research has also found that the vacation periods are critical times; while affluent parents can afford to pay for tutors and enriching educational activities, poorer kids often fall behind and begin the new academic year with a deficit in knowledge and cultural capital.

The church has a strategic advantage of being located all over the country and has a presence in many of the most deprived areas of the UK. Given the church’s role in the history of British education, it should retake its place in driving forward inclusive change where everyone is able to achieve regardless of where they are born.

The bible also points to an effective model of educating students. True education doesn’t seek to separate academic prosperity and the development of the mind from questions of character and the heart. Our curriculum will therefore seek to develop the heart and the mind of our students.

Where

The initiative will start in inner city areas of Birmingham where there is clear evidence of educational need.

Our model of delivery is based on establishing sustainable partnerships between secondary schools and churches. Schools will be able to provide the facilities to host the holiday clubs and churches can provide personnel and operational support.

Individual churches will be trained and supported to deliver the Symphony curriculum and revision support courses and will be responsible for inducting and processing new volunteers to their project. Sites may come together throughout the year for bigger events/activities and for the annual graduation ceremony.

Councils, charities and other organisations will also be important stakeholders for the programme to engage.

Having established a sustainable model we want to expand our reach further to other parts of the UK and beyond.

When

Beginning in September 2018

Who

For Symphony Education to become a success we will need the support of a number of stakeholders, including:

  • Parents and community members
  • Students and young people
  • School leaders and managementChurch
  • Church leaders and managementStaff
  • Staff team: tutors, teachers, coaches, operational managers and guest contributors
  • Advisory board

How

Individuals and organisations can express their interest in Symphony Education or recommend a student, family member or friend through this website.

  • Expression of interest – volunteers and partner organisations (link to form)
  • Expression of interest – parent, student or community member (link to form)
  • Recommend (link to form)

The Symphony Education planning team will have three subgroups. We are looking for individuals who have experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Teaching and learning – writing the Symphony Education curriculum, guidance for teachers/tutors and planning course activitiesOperations
  • Operations – developing strategy in volunteer and student recruitment, finance and business development, policies and legal guidance and operational support for programme activities
  • Pastoral – developing and monitoring a sound safeguarding policy and ensuring the welfare of students and volunteers

If you are able to give your thoughts or time to support any of the areas above or if you would like further information, please complete the following form (link to form)

Missions

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36 NIV

More information about our missions partners and their live campaigns can be found below.

Local

(Coming Soon)

National

(Coming Soon)

International – TEARFUND

“We’re following Jesus where the need is greatest, working through local churches to unlock people’s potential and helping them to discover that the answer to poverty is within themselves. When disasters strike, we respond quickly. We won’t stop until poverty stops.”

tearfund.org