A One-Stop Shop
Springboard Youth Academy bridges the gap to provide the necessary support that is lacking in the mainstream school system. Young asylum-seekers and refugees who have made the difficult journey to the UK – especially those who come alone – are saddled with many challenges common to starting a life somewhere new.
Though they are required to attend school, more often than not, they aren’t provided with the language and psychological support necessary to succeed in their new circumstances. They are simply not set up to thrive.
Coupled with budget cuts to tailored learning provision in schools, these young people often miss their chance to progress at a natural pace and to reach their fullest potential.
It was the first time I go to school in UK; after nine months ago I arrived and don’t go to school. I improved my language and conversation…I know English is difficult but I try – I enjoyed too much this class!
Our Team is Proud to
- Work holistically, guided by the understanding that young people have diverse and intersecting needs which should be addressed as a totality. This means that we consider mental health and systems literacy to be linked with physical health and social wellbeing.
- Deliver an educational programme that is in line with the principles of contemporary critical pedagogy, characterised by learner-led education spaces and collaborative exchange between learners and facilitators.
- Use a young person-centred approach, encouraging young people to take full ownership over their learning, development, goal-setting and achievements.
- Work in partnership with organisations across London to provide high-quality programming for newly arrived young people, create opportunities for collaboration between already established organisations and minimise the duplication of services across the city.
- Understand that each young person has a multiplicity of identities outside of their forced migration status.
- Provide a safe space for young people to get excited, speak up, have fun and build community in London!
We believe that developing young people’s English speaking ability and confidence is key to supporting them to thrive in their new environment. It allows them to explore new interests, share motivations and communicate needs, and to create and strengthen their social ties to peers and adults who support their wellbeing.
Our bespoke curriculums challenge traditional methods of ESOL teaching by encouraging critical thinking and engagement with more political topics that speak to young people’s personal experience of the world. We cover contextually relevant themes and offer young people the necessary language learning tools to improve their English skills through real-world and action-oriented language practice. This prepares young people to better engage with the world around them, and also results in higher in-class engagement.
Young people enrolled on our Saturday programme receive tailored workbooks covering each theme that correspond with our participatory lesson plans, which they can take home with them at the end of the programme.
The learning arcs we’ve developed so far centre around the themes below.
This arc invites participants to reflect on different aspects of their own and other people’s cultures, learn about and celebrate different languages and scripts, and discover important historical landmarks across both the global north and south.
STEM & sustainable living
This arc introduces participants to basic STEM knowledge, including building basic power sources and electrical circuits. The sustainable living element looks at causes of pollution and explores recycling and other ways to minimise our climate impact. It also features inventions created by young people that have made the world a better place.
Labour, capitalism & employment
This unit introduces participants to the concept of economic systems and invites them to think critically about our global economic structures. It also covers different professions and teaches basic employability skills, including interviewing and CV-writing practice.
Hopes & fears
This unit examines fears and phobias before exploring language around hope and giving participants a chance to reflect on their dreams for the future.
Gender & sexuality
This unit explores the conceptual differences between sex and gender, invites participants to challenge gender roles and examines different types of sexuality. It also explores transgender history and rights from a global and historical perspective.
Empire & colonialism
This module explores the history of global empires and the civil rights movements born out of them. It then takes a deeper dive into the history of the British Empire, and how it not only impacted global history, but also the current landscape of the UK today
This light-hearted module looks at different music and instruments from across the world. It explores how music makes people feel and introduces participants to Freedom Songs from across the world.
Social media & beauty standards
This arc invites participants to reflect on different types of social media and how they impact our wellbeing in both positive and negative ways. It also examines how social media impacts beauty standards and expectations of success, and invites participants to reflect on these norms.
Children & adults
This arc looks at the transition from childhood to adulthood across different social contexts, explores life milestones and debunks some of the expectations around these milestones. It also looks at inspirational children from across the world who have made a significant impact on their community, and invites participants to reflect on what they hope their own contributions to their community might be.
Meet the Springboard Team!
We are lucky to benefit from the expertise of a diverse group of on-site staff and volunteers, as well as dedicated peer leaders – themselves returning graduates – who support each cohort of young people through the programme.