Design for Change
Design for Change is a global programme that started in Ahmedabad, India, and is based on Gandhi’s message to ‘Be the change you want to see in your world’. At Ashley C of E Primary School Design for Change has been established for over three years and takes place every term in every year group. The process is simple:
FEEL what you would like to change.
IMAGINE what you could do.
SHARE your story and reflect on what you want to do next.
Some projects may be school-based, such as the ‘Friendship Bench’ which was initiated by children who felt that it would encourage children to make new friends at break times. Our younger children have created songs to remind the class to keep a tidy cloakroom so that they can find their belongings easily.
Other projects reach out to the wider community such as the ‘Eco-Turtle’ project which promotes eco-friendly cleaning fluids or the regular monitoring of energy usage within the school by Year 6 which links in to their ‘Leaders in Sustainability’ expedition to Chamonix in the Summer Term.
Sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources prompted one Infant Year group to re-cycle paper to make handy notebooks for both children and staff. The whole school enjoyed a Cycle for Water day last year – linking in to a global initiative led by two inspirational Dutch cyclists, Joost and Michiel – which was run by one of our Junior Year groups to raise money to build a water filtration system which now provides the 200 children at the Chum Chon Ban Sakea school in rural Thailand with a clean water supply.
We believe that such Design for Change projects encourage a positive, ‘I can’ mindset within our children. In carrying out their respective projects, each child is encouraged to express their ideas, collaborate with their classmates, recognise that they themselves can initiate change and actively take part in the project. Through our termly Design for Change Assemblies, the children learn to share their stories of change confidently with the rest of the school. Design for Change sets our children off on their journey to becoming active, responsible citizens of the future.
In June 2013, Ashley hosted the Inaugural UK Design for Change Conference and we hosted a follow-up afternoon workshop-style conference in January 2014. A second conference is planned for June 30th 2014.
Visit the UK ‘Stories can change’ website at http://www.storiescanchange.ukschool.com