St John’s: SELMAS and City of Edinburgh Councillors

The Community Ambassadors at St John’s held two thought provoking workshops with members of SELMAS and local Edinburgh Councillors. SELMAS are a┬ácommunity of independent education practitioners, who work with educational leaders to provoke mature debate on big issues facing schooling and were ┬áreally impacted by what the children had to say.

The Ambassadors guided the adults through the themes of the project, using the Dignometers to illustrate their personalised sliding scale experience of human dignity. They also shared with them their Community Ambassador Passports where they had each written their own definitions and core understandings of what human dignity, empathy, trust and kindness meant to them.


Next the group played our Ginormous Dice Game and children and adults discussed and shared thoughts around questions the children had designed. Everyone was really engaged and pupils from St Johns listened attentively to the honest experiences of some of the adults’ own school experiences.

When it came time to read Sandy’s Story and do the dramatic freeze frames the children had designed, the Ambassadors really provoked thought and debate. An excellent conversation ensued between adults and children, offering opinions as equals, as adults were visually confronted with the realities of the challenges children face and the hard truth that adults are often perceived as bystanders. This part of the workshop really made an impression on the adult participants and caused a lot of reflection.

Everyone watched the Children’s Parliament Investigates Bullying film and then the adults wrote pledges in response to the workshop. We asked that the pledges would not be what you ‘could’ do but what you ‘will’ do to help children be happy, healthy and safe. Here are a couple.

“I promise not to be a bystander. I will be an adult children can rely on to help.”
– Gillian

“I will make sure that if I make a decision which will impact on young people’s lives, that I listen to what they want, what they need, and what they think the best thing to do is.”
– Kate Campbell


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