A pilot project with the aim of integrating volunteering into the personal and social education curriculum has been launched at Golspie High School.
The Young Volunteers in Action Citizenship Award is being organised under the umbrella of the Scottish Community Education Council's Viva project, and aims to give young people accreditation that will ultimately become linked to existing PSE modules.
Golspie High was chosen as it has already fostered strong links with the local community through its voluntary activity. Gillian Patterson, a sixth-year pupil who is on the Viva management team, says: "It will also be available for people who are outside the school who want to do voluntary work."
With entry at S3, the project will have three levels ranging from work done with in school, work done out of school, and for those who choose go away from home work in a residential setting.
Helen Houston the Golspie co-ordinator, says: "What we want is for this to be driven by the young people and not just to have them as a token gesture. "
Christine Cowie, deputy headteacher at Golspie High, said: "It will be a vehicle for personal development. We are hoping that it can give the pupils self-awareness, and it also teaches them how to present themselves. These are skills that you need to have in the modern world. Also it gives them experience in the management of tasks. You will get some people that will emerge as leaders whereas some will emerge as being able to do practical things."
As well as working with the elderly or the mentally handicapped, the sixth year can act as informal tutors to younger pupils and help those with learning difficulties to read.