The Upwards leadership programme for schools is designed for 12 - 19 year olds, to be delivered during one term.  The programme can be delivered to students aged between 12 - 19 years, though we recommend Year 8, 9 and 10 students. 

What's the structure?
The Upwards programme starts with a two-day, adventure-based offsite covering the core Ngā pou manawa/Hero's Heart framework, followed by weekly one-hour lessons during school time, for a term. From 2017, learners are also supported going forward with an online toolset to help maintain positive change as they are given tools to work on a student-led community project.

How are the lessons run? 
We use constructionist, kinaesthetic learning to work together and create shared outcomes, and have fun along the way. During our lessons we've seen over and over again that what works for our Māori and Pacific learners works great for everyone else too. 

Following the principles of Te Kotahitanga: as much as possible, we find out the expertise in the room already, value this and get our young people to ako (teach) each other.  

Each lesson has one to two learning outcomes which underpin it and are assessed as part of the lesson. 

What educational principles do you use? 
The programme is underpinned by two core, evidence-backed educational principles: Te Kotahitanga (co-creation and team-work), and the demonstrated positive impact of teaching pro-social behaviour upon long-term life outcomes. Read more about the intervention.  

How do these relate to the Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines?
We're teaching leadership and helping students increase resilience - skills which we want everyone to have. So our lessons naturally follow the Ministry of Education's curriculum guidelines. Lessons are designed to complement the Ministry's focus in the following areas:

  • The key competencies (especially thinking, relating to others, managing self, and participating and contributing)
  • The core principles (especially inclusion, Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, future focus, learning to learn).

Talk to us about how the individual lessons and learning outcomes relate more specifically to curriculum areas. 

Can I choose the lessons offered? 
We have a suite of different lessons available to meet different learner needs and the specific needs of your school: we know each school and each learner is different, and we’ve seen this as we’ve tested our programmes. Each lesson is structured around our core ‘pou’/frameworks. 

We expect that facilitators use their own judgement and experience to adapt the lessons as needed for the individual young people, whilst still remaining true to the principles of the programme. 

How are the students chosen for the leadership course?
This is up to you - we recommend that students apply or are self-selected for maximum student engagement. Alternately, students showing leadership potential can be selected by their teachers. We recommend no more than 14 students for two facilitators. 

Can we deliver it in-house?
Yes, we can train you to deliver the programme in-house at your school - talk to us about becoming certified Upwards facilitators.

Why deliver to Year 8, 9, 10 in particular? 
We believe that the transition to college/high school, and the first two years, are a very crucial time in development and is the area where we feel we can make the most difference to give our young people the leadership and pro-social skills they need to navigate through to adulthood.   

What support do you need to run the programme?
To get the best out of the programme, we ask that you give us a dedicated contact point (a teacher) who can be our main point of contact for the school, and a dedicated location with enough space where we can run games and activities.

We will also run a pōwhiri/mihi whakatau at the start of each term for our students to welcome them, and we ask the same in return (that your school also welcomes us similarly). In our experience, this is an important part of the process of showing our students that we value their cultural backgrounds and expertise as well as meeting our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. For many people, the opportunity to take part in such a mihi has been limited so it's another way to help bridge gaps and bring people together.