Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

Recognising Achievement for Library-based Activities – The Youth Achievement Award


The school library has a long history of providing structured activities for pupils to do in their leisure time (eg. Pupil Librarian Training, special events such as Poetry readings / story telling and role-playing games activities, Manga club) and now they can use these activities to work towards recognised qualifications in a pilot project which allow pupils to work towards a Dynamic Youth or Youth Achievement Award.

With the Community Learning Officer (OIC), and Deputy Head, Mrs Sinclair, the School Librarian has took on the role of ‘Award Group Worker’ to oversee the pupils undertaking the awards during a pilot profject 2010-12. Two pupils successfully gained their bronze YA earlier this year and the awards have been rolled out across the school with a number of other staff training for and taking on the role of Award Group Worker. Dynamic Youth Awards have now also been introduced.

Dynamic Youth Awards give recognition and accreditation for your achievements in challenges young people set themselves during activities they choose to be involved in both in and out of school. It is aimed at young people who are aged between 10 and 14 years old

 DYA is based around a star rating system based on the number of cumulative hours done.              

*5-15hrs           **16 – 30hrs           ***over 30hrs

 Up to  30hrs can be used as ‘prior learning’ and can count towards the Bronze Youth Achievement Award with each 15 hour DYA challenge equalling ONE Youth Achievement Award Challenge. 

The Youth Achievement Award, aimed at ages 14+, has four levels and each level provides an award equivalent to SQA qualifications for which pupils have to carry out a number of peer assessed challenges of their choice, producing a portfolio of evidence which can include photos of the activity, logbooks, diaries, witness observations, plans, records of attendance, certificates, to name but a few.

  • Bronze – takes part in activities: Four 15-hour challenges / equivalent to General level Standard Grade
  • Silver – helps to organise activities: Six 15-hour challenges / equivalent to Credit level Standard Grade
  • Gold –  plans, organises and leads activities: Seven 15-hour challenges / equivalent to Higher
  • Platinum – takes on a leadership role: 135 hours participation / Advanced Higher


Both awards work on a plan,do, review with the pupils discussing ideas with their peers and Award Group Worker and set out their own challenges and create a set of targets to achieve to complete the challenge. These awards are pupil led and they need to show responsibility and have the motivation to carryout the challenges and produce the evidence they need with minimal input from the Award Group Worker who acts in a supporting role. Peer assessment is also part of the awards and is carried out prior to portfolios being internally moderated, then sent away for external moderation.

Any activity (in or out of school) can be used as long as the pupil can prove that theyhave done it by collecting evidence (logbooks, photographs, hours sheets, certificates, witness statements, etc). All library-based activities are eligible to be used for DYA (and YAA) and can be used in part or whole towards either award.

Further information can be obtained from Mrs Sinclair in the Library.

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