The Wings of Hope Achievements Awards is a national social enterprise competition which encourages students to build skills and confidence through running their own fundraising projects raising money to help provide free education for underprivileged children in India and Malawi gain a free education.
Through fundraising for the education of children in other parts of the world, our programme stimulates students to be more engaged with their education here, and connect the dots to see that education is the key to unlocking a better future for themselves and the wider world.
At the Wings of Hope, we believe that education is the key to empowerment, both abroad and here in the UK. This programme is really an opportunity for students to empower students, whilst developing their own confidence, independence, and self-belief, as well as professional skills such as teamwork, financial management, and time management.
We recognise the large workloads and busy school days that teachers deal with, so the WOHAA programme is designed specifically to run alongside school, taking away the onus from teachers to be key organisers. We also give each WOHAA team a mentor on starting the programme, who will help and guide them in their projects. Read more about our mentoring. We seek to make the programme as adaptable as possible and are always on hand to deal with any concerns you may have as teachers.
Below, the winner of the WOHAA Oustanding Teacher Award 2018 Mr Tom Cannon from Blackheath High School shares his experiences of the programme:
So what does WOHAA give my students?
To date, over 35,000 UK students have participated in WOHAA. The students that have taken part in WOHAA rate their experiences on average 8-9 out of 10, and 9 out of 10 would recommend the programme to a friend.
When asking them what skills they thought they learnt, over a quarter pointed to teamwork and over a fifth to time management skills. Many of the students also felt more socially responsible after completing the award scheme, and the majority say that they have grown in confidence, and done things they never expected or believed they could when they began.
There are many aspects to WOHAA which makes it stand out from the crowd. Not only does it develop key transferrable skills but it can also help to meet other school criteria:
The volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award
With current COVID-19 conditions where it is not possible to take part in expeditions or residentials, WOHAA offers the perfect opportunity to do Volunteering, Skills and Physical activities Virtually and thus qualify for the Certificate of Achievement from DofE
PSHE: WOHAA adds to teaching on the PSHE topics of citizenship, democracy and human rights, careers and the world of work, and personal finance.
AQA Baccalaureate: WOHAA comes under the enrichment activities in the AQA Bacc Award.
SMSC: Ofsted criteria for ‘Outstanding’ ask schools to have “thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development” – WOHAA helps satisfy this criteria.
Gifted and Talented provision within your school
Character Education: Values taught within schools include building confidence, self-reflection, a sense of social awareness, and resilience. WOHAA teaches pupils all these skills through a fun and impactful programme.
Careers Guidance: Our Speed Mentoring event is an opportunity for students to gain impartial careers guidance, another Ofsted requirement for all schools.
As a teacher, you are under no obligation to be heavily involved. WOHAA is designed to run alongside the academic year and does not replace school subjects or schoolwork. Each school has a liaison teacher who helps us set up assemblies or presentations in the early stages of the programme, and checks in with the WOHAA teams as they progress in the projects.
However, in the 16 years WOHAA has been running we have seen that teams with supportive teachers who are committed to making WOHAA run as best they can within their schools often do better in the competition. The key things that can really help students include:
Encouraging students to sign up on a computer after the assembly or presentation. For example, booking a computer room for interested students can be invaluable.
Putting up our poster on your classroom door or elsewhere around the school. Any other in-school promotion (perhaps over email) to the students is also very helpful.
Reminding students in and around school who you know to have signed up to WOHAA to be having regular meetings as a team, to check their emails, and be in touch with us. We want the students to develop independence skills, but occasional reminders from teachers can go a long way.
Organising a time and space (even just 30 mins after school every 2 weeks in your classroom) to check in with students who’ve signed up to see how they are getting on, and give them time to plan their events. It is important they have regular meetings as a team, and for some, the school may be the only time they can do this. Many teachers choose to do an after-school club for WOHAA, or something similar, to give students the time and space to plan their project.
Should they want to run an event in school (e.g. bake sale, or a larger event using the school hall) then helping them negotiate with other teachers to organise this, or pointing them in the right direction can be helpful. Anything you can do to remove barriers for them will make all the difference.
Writing them a reference for the submission of their Snapshot project at the end of January/March.
We do also have an Outstanding Teacher Award for the teacher who has been most supportive of their teams throughout the WOHAA programme! Hear what the very first winner of this award thought about WOHAA:
Does the programme take place in school time?
WOHAA is designed to run alongside the academic year (September-June), but it is entirely dependent on the students and individual schools as to how involved the school is with their projects. A reasonable balance of in-school and out-of-school events often works best. Ultimately, we want the students to learn project management skills, by learning to manage their time, and balance WOHAA with their school work. Therefore WOHAA should never interfere with lessons. There is no need to dedicate in-school sessions, unless you choose to run WOHAA in a particular enrichment club/similar.
Some students agree with schools to hold events on school property, such as lunchtime cake sales, selling wristbands in common rooms or shared areas, or a concert in a school venue planned by the students liaising with the appropriate teachers.
Out-of-school events can include: sponsored sports events, flyering or busking in public spaces, local community work, charity galas or other events in a space chosen and arranged by the students.
What are the costs for participation?
There are NO participation costs for the school. We are proud to maintain our ethos of empowerment for all.
There is a £15 administration fee per participant on registration. Some schools choose to cover this cost for their students. This charge is to cover our costs and to make sure that as much fundraising as possible can go to providing free education for children around the world.
That seems too good to be true… are there any restrictions on participation?
No restrictions at all! The programme is open to any pupil between years 9 and 13. In order to maintain the high quality of service we provide as entirely barrier-free, we have three key guidelines:
– a suggested minimum of two teams per school (1-6 pupils per team)
– a suggested maximum of 5 or 6 teams (open)
– we have found that teams raise on average £500-600 each, across all sectors of schools we work with (academy, state, grammar, independent, faith, international). Working from these figures, we would be hoping for a total fundraising amount of around £1000 from the school as a whole (all teams put together)