GSL Catalyst for United Learning

Wellington College, UK
5th and 7th July 2016

Between Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th July 2016 Future Foundations delivered a unique and life changing Leadership programme for students from United Learning around the country. Developed in partnership with the Wellington Leadership Institute, the Global Social Leaders Catalyst residential was an intensive three day training event designed to bring together young people from across the national group of schools, developing each participant’s personal understanding of different leadership styles, and how to be a leader of yourself, in school, and in the community.

The programme was course directed by Owen with Future Foundations coaches Amit, Chloe and Laina  delivering sessions and workshops. The Operations Director was Michael , who was supported by three volunteers; Elle , Islay and Kelly .

Thirty-three students aged 13-16 years old from six United Learning schools travelled to Wellington College for the three day programme.  The students came from Barnsley Academy, Bournemouth Collegiate School, Dunottar School, Lambeth Academy, Sheffield Springs Academy and Walthamstow Academy.

A wonderful three days where I was free to say anything without being judged


It has helped me a lot with my confidence and my public speaking


I really loved that they all had the ideas and just needed further thoughts on how to deliver them in a mature and sensitive way and this was delivered excellently

Inspired me to be the best I can be and reach my full potential

The programme is so incredibly valuable and life shaping for many of them

It definitely sets them up better for success and shows them a glimpse of what else is out there and what they’re capable of

Life changing, one I won’t forget.  I will use the things I learnt in other situations, thank you!


I had an amazing experience, I have become more confident and I have learnt many things



The objectives of the programme were:

  • Develop the skills they need for their role at school and to use out of school
  • Nurture confidence, presentation skills, and influencing
  • Enable students to successfully lead projects without teacher support and use their initiative to make tangible changes in school without being pushed to do so
  • Develop effective representation of the student body to support their schools overall improvement


How did the participants feel at the end of the programme?

Pursue their passions
Inspired to achieve
Rated 4+ out of 5
Bring ideas to life

It has been beautiful to see the young people walk into the programme – a little bit nervous and apprehensive – but leaving walking in their power ready to commit to making changes withing themselves and then out into their communities locally and globally


During the programme, Future Foundations provided varied and challenging sessions, including indoor and outdoor experiential team tasks, workshops, challenges and daily reflection sessions all relating learning to the objectives of the residential.

The students arrived from their separate schools to Wellington College and were quickly involved in meeting their team, their FF coaches and sessions focusing on how to be leaders of themselves, and understanding their own leadership style.

Sessions over the three days focused on issues in the local community and globally.  The highlight of Day One was the Big Debate session which saw students giving their opinion so topics such as gender equality.  Coaches noted a real increase in confidence, with all students being prepared to speak up.

The focus of Day Two was on tangible social issues with case studies as well as building on presenting skills in order to take on the evening challenge.  The last session of the day involved the teams pitching for a £20 loan for a Social Entreprise supported by Deki Loans.  The teams really shone in their delivery, their understanding of the issues, the consequences and impact of a loan, and presented with a huge amount of passion.  The three judges for this session were blown away by the approach of the teams and their incredible pitches

The sessions on Day Three gave the students the final building blocks and toolkit to be able to understand how to plan their own project which would impact their school community or the wider local community.  The sessions pulled together their learning about themselves, about their own skills as a resource, about project planning, project visions and how to measure impact.  The day culminated in an incredible finale with the six school teams presenting their project outline to a panel of three Dragons.  The projects ranged from busting the stereotypes about young people through engagement with the elderly, to starting up a Home Economics session outside of school time to help combat issues such as food waste and obesity.