Over the Christmas holidays, a group of Year 12s and one Year 13 tried a character development course run by "A School for Tomorrow". Consisting of 1-2 hours of work a week over five weeks. The point of the course was to see how we, as active citizens of the future, could fit into society and how we can change our values to reflect this. After completing the course, we had to give feedback to one of the creators. It was unknown at the time what we were supposed to say because we were given very little information as to what the course would include. Even when we had a Zoom call with someone from the company, who was in Australia, we were given no instructions except a due date.

The main piece of work that we had to do in the course was to create a mastery statement. This was an extended piece of writing that contained our thoughts and answers to prompts and questions that were presented throughout the course. There were a lot of sophisticated and vague extracts that we had to read. This was something that we all agreed we found difficult and fed this information back to the developers. But some of us found that the advanced language and ideas of the articles pushed us to increase the quality of our language and syntax.

Another part of the course that was so different from how we normally work was the complete lack of teacher interference or checkups. This independence was eye-opening for many of us as we had to learn how to motivate yourselves to complete the course, especially as we had very few checkpoints. Although it was a struggle sometimes to sit down and do parts of the course, the resilience that we built from this will help us for our further education. Also, there were supportive messages between individuals checking up on each other’s progress and offering to help. Additionally, some of us found out the downfalls of leaving all the work until the last week!

This was a unique experience, unlike other similar courses that the majority of people take at some point in school as we had the opportunity to discuss our ideas about the course with the person who had made it. He reassured us that we needed to be as honest as possible, which was strange as we did criticise some parts of the course, which was obviously something that he had worked incredibly hard on. It was a great feeling as the creator had read through our mastery statements and it felt amazing to know that what we had done could potentially have an impact on how the course could be edited. Also, there was a sense of accomplishment as we knew that our mastery statements were appreciated and being read.

Finally, the final week’s task was to start to draw out a plan to improve our values so that we become the best version of ourselves. This was something that many of us will think about and use as we continue to develop as young adults. The course just highlighted the importance of the community and how our individual skill sets can fit into this community. I know that we all took different learning points and aspects from the course but hopefully we will all recognise that we took part in something that will help to make us into better people.