Your Forum!

Photo: Ann Matthew/Oxfam
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead

The day has come… What to do?

Finally the day has come!
Remember that this is a milestone of a longer process that will see every participant actively involved in sharing action proposals and creating connections to keep working together over the school year.

The Youth Forum can be adapted to work in your context. You can make changes to the length of the Forum (½ or full day), and vary the activities depending on the background and age of your students. Teachers can take a lead role, or a back seat in helping to prepare for the Forum. Students can have different levels of responsibility and input on the ideas for the Forum depending on the time they are able to commit in your school.

General overview of the structure

As a general rule, we suggest the following structure for your Forum.

FORUM
PHASE 1
INTRODUCTION

Getting to know each other / team building activity

 

Opening of the Forum

(Introductory speeches from students’ representatives, teachers, headteacher, where possible external experts on the topic under discussion)

PHASE 2
WORKSHOPS

Mixed Discussion Groups

Students provide inputs in mixed groups on the action proposals developed before attending the Forum. They brainstorm the issue, sharing proposals of what actions might be organised in what context, bearing in mind they should be things they can do in school; in their community; online.

PHASE 3
PLANNING

School Groups

Plenary sharing of the actions proposals (amendments and consensus). Action planning for the rest of the school year in school groups.

Closing ceremony

Feedbacks from the headteacher of the school hosting the Forum, and any other presenter or local authority present. Evaluation of the event

PHASE 1. INTRODUCTION

AT THE ARRIVAL PARTICIPANTS SIGN THE PARTICIPATION LIST AND RECEIVE THE NAME BADGE WITH A COLOUR TAG THAT WILL REFER TO THE DISCUSSION GROUPS. MAKE SURE EVERY SCHOOL HAS UPLOADED ON THE WEBSITE THE PARTICIPANTS REGISTRATION FORM.

Opening of the Forum
After getting to know each other, a more formal moment is useful to set the focus of participants and prepare them to engage with the activities proposed. This could be done by giving the floor to different stakeholders, either internal or external to the school. This could include a speech from the Students’ representatives, members of the organising team, teachers, headteachers and / or external experts on the topic. This activity shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes to ensure the students stay focussed.

Getting to know each other / team building activity
When meeting with people you don’t know it is very important to organise a short “ice-breaker” activity to feel more comfortable working together and sharing your own opinion.

Several methods can be used to reach this goal. Among those, you can try the Global Bingo!

For more ideas you can look at

GLOBAL BINGO

As for the Whole School Classroom Activities you might want to propose again the Bingo (or ‘Find Someone in This Room Who …’). It is a brief ‘fun’ activity that, in this case, can be used to get to know each other.

The aim of Global Bingo is for students to interact with one another and complete the question sheet as quickly as possible. They do this by collecting a different student’s name and answer in response to each question. There is space on the sheet to write a student’s name and the answer to each question.

RULES:

  • Every participant should directly interview fellow students to assess if the other person really does what is written in the box.
  • Every name should be written on the Bingo page only once (to diversify more the amount of people to approach).
  • The first one who finishes has to shout aloud BINGOOO!
  • Bring all students together in a circle, double check the entries of the winner, and where possible, provide a symbolic prize.
  • Go for a final round of names and schools to set the learning environment and you are ready to move on!

For more references on the Bingo, check the Whole School Classroom Activities – Activity Plans for Teachers.

 

 

 

PHASE 2. DISCUSSION GROUPS

Discussion groups

Students provide input in mixed groups on the reasons behind the action proposals developed before attending the Forum.
Starting from the ideas developed in school, students brainstorm the issue, sharing proposals of what actions might be organised in what context, bearing in mind they should be things they can do in school; in their community; online.
At the end of the group discussions new ideas of action proposals might come out as a consequence of debating and brainstorming together.

Issue Tree Activity

As for the Whole School Classroom Activities (workshop 3) you might want to propose again the issue tree, because it encourages young people to explore (and distinguish between) the causes, effects (or symptoms) and solutions of an issue.

In this case you might decide to use:
  • roots with the causes of the issue;
  • trunk with the chosen issue to discuss in the working group;
  • branches with the priorities /objectives to overcome / deal with the issue
  • fruit with the possible actions to tackle the issue

Each group should be composed of 10-15 students to facilitate active participation of all students.

This activity will summarise young people’s learning and opinion from the Learning Resources.

The 3 most interesting outcomes of the tree then will be summed on a flip-chart as previously done during the preparation phase:

PRIORITY / ISSUEWHY(OBJECTIVES)DESCRIPTION OF THE IDEAWITH WHOM(TARGET GROUP)
EG. RESPECT OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT ASYLUM SEEKERS CONDITIONS WHEN IN EUROPE ORGANISE A PHOTO EXIHIBITION IN SCHOOL TO INFORM FAMILIES AND FELLOW STUDENTS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN GREECE, ITALY AND TURKEY STUDENTS,TEACHERS,FAMILIES,LOCAL COMMUNITY
EG. FIGHT AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE TO RAISE AWARENESS ON HATE SPEECH TARGETING WOMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA ORGANISE A WORSHOP TO EXPLORE HOW PEOPLE FEEL WHEN THEY READ AN OFFENSIVE STATEMENT BASED ON GENDER STUDENTS TEACHERS SOCIAL WORKERS

PHASE 3. PLANNING

Action Proposals Exhibition
The flip charts of the different groups are stacked on the walls of the plenary room by the organising team. Every student at the entrance of the room receives a sticker (or similar...) and after reading the different proposals puts his/her sticker on the one he/she likes the most. This exercise is useful to foster the students' ability in self-assessing creativity, feasibility of action taking and decision-making.
The top 3 proposals will be shared in plenary during the closing by student’s representatives of the discussion groups.

Optional
If there is time, school groups (with the supporting teachers) might gather in different corners of the room to discuss if and which actions they would like to organise / participate in. When groups have shared and agreed on possible ideas, a final session with a timeline for inter-schools cooperation might take place.

Closing
A final farewell word from the hosting school.