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Launching Over 11s Programme

Monday 26th July 2021

We are pleased to announce that new programmes for both the Company and Seniors age groups are now being launched ready for use in 2021-2022 session.

This launch of our new programmes for the Company and Seniors age groups is a result of a thorough review of the existing Discover and Challenge Plus Programmes as well as carrying out consultations with young people and leaders at various stages over the last few years. The Programme Group leading on this has also been able to evaluate feedback from leaders from the launch of the new programmes for Anchors and Juniors. As part of the launch we are also pleased to be able to launch new identities and branding for the Company and Seniors age groups.

Whilst we are launching the programme ready for take up in the new session and all resources and support are now available, we are very aware that for some the focus of the new session will be on returning to face-to-face activities and that it will not be the right time to be introducing the new programmes. To support this there will be a transition period to allow Companies to choose the right time to carry out the change.

Through our programmes we want to provide young people with opportunities to develop skills, to be creative, to have adventures, to try new things, to get to know Jesus and to make a difference.

 

The Programme

The Company and Seniors programmes are built around six Activity Areas, replacing the ‘Programme Zones’ found in the current Discover programme and ‘Themes’ in Challenge Plus programme, and are set out as follows;

The Activity Areas will be used across both age groups and these same Activity Areas can also be found in the Anchors and Juniors programmes, providing consistency for children and young people as they move through the organisation, as well as making it easier for those leaders that volunteer in more than one age group.

All Activities in the programme will directly link to one of the six Activity Areas, with activities having no set minimum or maximum times. Participating in activities and where specified meeting requirements set out within the programme will lead to young people being recognised for their participation and achievement.

 

Delivering Programme Resources

Resources to support leaders in delivering the new programmes will be published three times a year. The new termly resources will feature programme ideas and activities through a set of Activity Cards, Themed Activity Cards and a Programme Planner for each term.

The terms will be:

  • Autumn – Sep to Dec
  • Spring  – Jan to Apr
  • Summer – May to Aug

All of the resources will provide leaders with support in planning their programme and are not designed to be a syllabus which has to be followed.

The resources will build on those that have been published over the last 12+ months as part of our alternative programming responding to the pandemic. The resources also build on those that have been going out termly since the launch of the new Anchors and Juniors programmes in 2019. We therefore hope that many leaders will already be familiar with the style and how to access them.

Our programme resources are available to ALL leaders online through the Programme Hub as well as through Online Brigade Manager (OBM). To help kick-start the new session a one-time only printed set of the Autumn 2021 termly resources have been sent to the Leader-in-Charge of each age group with the Autumn 2021 Gazette. Following this, from Spring 2022 printed termly resources will only be sent out based on an optional subscription at a cost of £17 per age group per session.

Printed Termly Resources 

Subscribe to receive a printed set of resources for age groups in your Company at: https://boys-brigade.org.uk/printed-termly-subscription/. Where leaders are subscribing to receive printed resources they may want to consider purchasing a ‘Programme Storage Box’ (available from BB Supplies) to help keep all your activity cards in one accessible place.

To provide additional support to leaders monthly programme focused emails will be sent out and monthly webinars open to all leaders will provide reminders about activities for the next month, signpost external resources and provide opportunities for leaders to share good practice and ideas.

Activity Cards

Using the Activity Cards, a leader will be supported to deliver a dynamic and varied programme each session and avoid repetition. Each term a set of Activity Cards will provide leaders with ‘ready-to-go’ activities which means the card contains all the information a leader needs to organise the activity successfully. There will be one Activity Card for each of the 6 Activity Areas each term.

Themed Activity Cards 

These will bring together activities from several of the Activity Areas based on a theme with 4 themed Activity Cards being delivered each term. Usually, these cards will feature at least 5 activities from at least 4 different Activity Areas. These Themed Activity Cards will help leaders to identify how themes can be helpful in providing variety and balance in the delivery of the programme. It might not be the case that you could run all the activities on one meeting night and there is no expectation that you should, again these are ‘Pick and mix’ activities from which you can choose those that will work best with your young people.

Programme Planner 

The Programme Planner will be provided termly for each age group and will cover every week within that term – providing ideas, highlighting national festivals and awareness days, signposting resources and identifying what fully resourced activities will be provided for that term. This resource will be provided a full term in advance of the period it covers, so for the Autumn term which covers September through to December, the programme planner will usually be published in May. Delivering this a term in advance will support leaders in their programme planning and highlight which activities will be resourced through the Activity Cards and Themed Activity Cards, so leaders know what to expect in advance of the activity cards being published.

 

Age Ranges

As part of the launch of the new Company and Seniors programmes we are adjusting the age ranges for these two age groups. This will see the Company age group move from 4 to 3 years and therefore the Seniors age group from 3 to 4 years.

There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • Reducing age range in Company age group, when young people are going through key times of change – an 11-year-old is in a very different place to a 15-year-old.
  • Improving the balance in numbers across age groups, making running a separate Seniors age group more sustainable.
  • Enabling us to encourage separate age group programmes to ensure there is progression for young people aged 11 to 18 years.
  • Incentive to move into Seniors age group to gain major awards (i.e. President’s and Queen’s Badge).

Whilst we would like to encourage all Companies to transition to the new age ranges we recognise that there needs to be some flexibility at a local level. Further guidance is available in the Programme Toolkits for Company and Seniors.

 

Recognising Participation in the Programme

As part of the launch of the new programmes for the Company and Seniors age groups we are pleased to have also launched a range of ways to recognise participation and achievement in the programme.

Badges, certificates and other resources provide a great way to recognise young people’s achievements and encourage them to learn new skills. They can be used to map a young person’s progress through the organisation and provide an incentive for them to continue their journey through the movement. They can also help to add structure and a focus through encouraging completion of activities in each of the 6 activity areas, ensuring young people participate in a balanced programme.

It is important that participation in the programme is recognised and rewarded.

Read on to find out more about how we will recognise participation and achievement…

Care Activity Awards 

The Core Activity Awards for each age group are all about recognising participation in the programme. The awards are gained by completing a number of activities from each of the 6 Activity Areas. There is no minimum requirement in terms of time for a single activity to be completed, but that members fully participate in the chosen activity.

The Core Activity Awards for Company age group are Bronze, Silver and Gold and for Seniors age group are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

With the Core Activity Awards it is not intended that the programme has a formal ‘awards’ time, but that children and young people gain recognition for their participation in the programme as a whole. So it is more about identifying which parts of the programme will be recorded under the award scheme. Remember, that activities should be programme led, not awards driven.

With no set levels of attainment for the activities for the Core Activity Awards, these are gained by young people participating in particular activities; no external controls are to be applied. The level of achievement will vary for each individual according to their ability and age. During a young person’s time in the age group their level of skill is likely to vary greatly. The onus is on the leaders to ensure that they are fully participating and developing at an appropriate pace.

All the awards involve completing a minimum number of activities in each Activity Area as well as 4 additional ‘Free Choice’ activities from across the Activity Areas encouraging a balanced and varied programme, but also providing some local flexibility. With the ‘Free Choice’ activities young people may choose which additional activities they wish to do, perhaps those they enjoy most, or which give them new challenges. Companies may also decide to concentrate on particular activities that reflect the skills of the leaders, equipment available or meeting space.

A key change in presenting the Core Activity Awards is that only the highest award gained in the Company age group will be retained on the armband when a young person moves into Seniors.

Membership Awards 

The Membership Award is to be presented to new members in the age group once they have completed one activity in at least 3 Activity Areas and being introduced/inducted into the age group. There are separate membership awards for Company and Seniors, and the awards should be presented to those moving up age groups as well as those starting out on their BB adventure.

The Membership Award replaces the Compass Badge in the Company age group. Only one Membership Award will be worn at any time (i.e. replaces previous age group’s membership award).

Staged Awards 

The Staged Awards are being introduced to build on the Core Activity Awards, as additional (optional) awards that run across both the Company and Seniors age groups. There are 18 Staged Awards, which are all linked to one of the 6 Activity Areas found in the programme continuing our focus on providing a balanced programme with a wide range of opportunities.

Whilst the Core Activity Awards are based on recognising participation in the programme, the Staged Awards take things a step further with young people completing awards based on a set syllabus. The syllabus for each award sets out elements to be completed for each award. Each Staged Award has 4 levels, with Level 1 being an introduction and developing through to Level 4. Young People will be able to work towards any number of staged awards at any one time.

The Staged Awards can be linked to our Major Awards (President’s & Queen’s Badge) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to help encourage participation in those awards. Certificates will recognise completion of Levels 1 and 2, with badges recognising completion of Levels 3 and 4.

18 Staged Awards include:

Get Active
• Sports Person
• Water Sports
• Health & Fitness

Get Adventurous
• Camping
• Navigator
• Survival Skills

Get Creative
• Photography
• Musician
• Cooking

Get Into The Bible
• Bible Knowledge
• Church Life

Get Involved
• Active Citizen
• Fundraiser
• Volunteer
• Teamwork & Leadership

Get Learning
• DIY
• First Aider
• Interests

You can find out more about Staged Awards and the syllabus for each award on the Programme Hub

Major Awards 

The Major Awards including Discovery Badge, President’s Badge and Queen’s Badge bring together a young person’s achievements in the Company and Seniors age groups and their BB journey as a whole. As part of the age range changes the Discovery Badge will move to being the highest award in the Company age group (gained in year 3), with President’s Badge and Queen’s Badge being gained in the Seniors age group.

The only significant changes across the Major Awards is the introduction of a ‘Faith Journey’ element and requirement to either complete a specified number of ‘Nights Away’ or ‘Adventure Days’. More details on the requirements for each of the awards can be found on the Programme Hub.

Other Awards 

Young people will continue to be able to work towards and gain other existing awards including Nights Away and Recruitment Awards.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When will everything be available?
Everything is available now with the exception of the new awards, which will be available through BB Supplies from 1st January 2022.

Where can I access the new branding/logos?

You can find the branding and logos at boys-brigade.org.uk/our-brand/. This includes the ability to download a logo/branding pack and supporting guidance.

How do we keep track of the awards?

You can keep track of progress with awards for all members using the functionality within Online Brigade Manager, from there you can record completion of individual activities and the system will let you know when an award is due. Parents/Carers and other leaders can also view the badge progress through OBM. Alternatively, you can download a record card template which can be printed out and used to record progress at boys-brigade.org.uk/recognising-achievement/

How do we transition from existing awards?

We have mapped across the existing awards from Discover and Challenge Plus Programmes to show how these fit into the new Company and Seniors Programmes. It is recommended that any transition is completed at the start of a session. Where a young person has started out on their President’s or Queen’s Badge they can complete the award based on either the existing or new requirements.

 

So What’s Next?

Check out the Programme Hub at boys-brigade.org.uk/programme/ where you will be able to access all the latest resources and find more detailed information about the programme and awards.

You can also join one of our launch webinars taking place in July, August and September (sign up on the Programme Hub). The webinars, led by members of the HQ Staff Team and Programme Group, will be an opportunity to be taken step-by-step through the new programmes, as well as ask questions.

We would also encourage you to get together as a staff team to plan for the start of the new session and consider how you will transition to the new programmes.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us at programme@boys-brigade.org.uk

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