Who wants to #MakeaDifference?

How can we support children to embrace diversity and to understand that their words and actions have impact? The I Am Me Team blogs for PINS on an exciting new resource, the I Am Me Scotland Education Platform

I Am Me Scotland is an award winning charity that aims to ensure everyone can feel safe within their communities. We are a tiny team of 4 with huge ambitions and achievements and these can be evidenced through some of our recent awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which recognises the unique and refreshing community involvement that drives the strategic and operational aims for the charity. We were gifted a bus from Stagecoach which we had converted into a mobile Cinema and Education Unit – The Cinebus!  The Cinebus was used to deliver the #MakeaDifference programme to over 10,000 children a year for the past four years.

And then COVID-19 struck……
Ever heard the phrase each challenge brings new opportunity? Well we needed to look for new opportunities to survive as a charity.  After the initial panic we turned our attentions on how best we can ensure that all the progress we had made over the past few years could continue.  We also understood the challenges that teachers were facing with the uncertainty around school learning, home learning, blended learning and the reality of no learning.

The #MakeaDifference programme was developed with children, young people and people who have disabilities. The lessons were already a success, the feedback over the years had proven that.  So the challenge was how do we harness what works with the realisation that face to face interaction and the excitement of the Cinebus (not to mention our wonderful, engaging personalities) contributed to that success? 

We decided to make something new, something interactive, exciting, engaging but also educational.  Something that children could use at home or teachers could deliver from the classroom.  An easy task?

Actually, not so easy, but a learning curve and an exciting journey for the team.  After many a late evening and many months of learning, building, designing, learning and re-building, we have finally launched a whole new learning platform that is fully flexible, accessible and interactive too. Welcome to the I Am Me Scotland Education Platform

Resource lessons are designed to support Curriculum for Excellence Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes.  Each lesson includes animations and films and is accompanied by a suite of resources and activities designed for each year. Each lesson has audio and closed captions available to ensure inclusion for children.

So what are the aims of the lessons?
The lessons have been designed to be progressive.  Primary 1 begins as an introduction to disability/difference through to Primary 7 which focuses on a range of physical and hidden disabilities, the impact of bullying and the consequences of hate crime.  The lessons aim to encourage children to embrace diversity and to understand that their words and actions have impact.

So how do you access these amazing resources?
The platform is available at – https://iammescotlandeducation.org.uk The #MakeaDifference option is for primary schools. The I Am Me option is currently being developed for secondary schools and will be available early next year. By taking a subscription the school has unlimited use for a full year. The enhanced option gives you the opportunity to get your very own bespoke and branded lesson unique to your school.  All you need to do is let us know the age range and what the lesson aims are and we will design something for you to use.

I am me Scotland
We are Kieran, Molly, Carol and Mhairi – The I Am Me Team. Please get in touch for more information – iamme@renfrewshire.gov.uk