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An opportunity for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Dual Heritage pupils

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The Youth Cultural Champions Programme was developed from the Cultural Champions Programme in response to an observed need. We give secondary school students a shorter version of the Cultural Champion training, and they then run sessions about their culture in primary schools or with governors or other groups.

These photographs show the Youth Cultural Champions training session in a secondary school and YCCs working in primary schools.

If you would like to discuss running a YCC programme in school email dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk

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A training programme for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Dual Heritage pupils in Secondary Schools.

The aims of the Youth Cultural Champions Programme are to work with young people from BAME and dual heritage backgrounds:

  • To provide a safe space for them to explore their heritage and culture and to provide opportunities for them to explain these to their peers.
  • To offer opportunities for them to share their experiences and feelings, especially about attitudes towards them in school and in the wider community, and their experiences of these.
  • Through this work, to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem. 
  • To discuss their rights in school and school policies and procedures on unacceptable behaviour.

The training programme takes place over three or four full school days and is run by two adult Cultural Champions*. The days will be separated by at least one week, so that home preparation can be carried out by the young people.

* DDE’s Cultural Champions are Devon residents from another culture, faith or nationality, who has been through a training course with DDE and are equipped to work with pupils in classrooms. They all have advanced DBS.

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DDE is planning a new project, Building Global Youth Resilience, which aims with BAME pupils to run a ‘Youth Cultural Champions’ programme, exploring their own cultures and sharing painful experiences and with a group of vulnerable and white British pupils to run ‘Make a Change’ programme, exploring their identities and challenging their outlook on life. For teachers, CPD training will provide insights into challenges pupils face, aiming to motivate them to improve life for all the school community.

In 2017-19 DDE ran a significant and successful project Building a Stronger Britain Together funded by the Home Office, working with Year 8 BAME pupils, vulnerable white British young people and teachers, including Senior Leadership. Without exception the white staff and pupils had no concept of the extent of racism experienced by some pupils.

For more details of DDE’s work in this area email dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk

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From a Teacher

It was the first time that the College had done any work specifically with its BAME students. I was impressed by the way that the facilitators from Devon Development Education worked with the group. They had a range of activities that developed students confidence, made them reflect and take pride in their cultural heritage and open up about their experiences of racism in the College and in the local community.

The sharing of ideas and strategies in dealing with racism undoubtedly helped some students. It is noticeable that BME students who had been involved in the group gained in confidence and were leading lights in their year group in Years 10 and 11. 

From two Pupils

We found the experience of the YCC programme both useful and interesting.

It was good for the group because it brought us together and made us realise that we had a shared experience in the college. Exploring each other's cultural heritage meant that as individuals we took more pride in the cultures we have.

It also meant that we were able to talk about our shared experience of the racism we have endured in the College. Being able to talk about the racism in College and discuss ways to deal with it was useful. There had never been an opportunity for this to happen previously. Explaining to our headteacher some of the abuse we have faced showed that the school was taking seriously our experiences. 

Overall we enjoyed the YCC programme. We would like to see it repeated again at our school and elsewhere.