Trying to find an award that can help challenge special educational needs (SEN) pupils or even help bridge the gap from primary to secondary school? This article explains what the award is, why you should value it, a breakdown of the award and how to get involved.

The Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) is owned and distributed by Friends of The Award in Edinburgh and the Lothians (FOTA). This scheme is a holistic accredited learning programme for children and young people aged 5 – 14 years, which also works really well in an additional needs setting.

The Importance of JASS

This scheme helps young people develop their interpersonal skills (communication, problem solving and teamwork) and build on their self-confidence and sense of well-being to engage in formal education. In completion of these awards, individuals can use them when focusing on their future, presenting themselves as a well rounded and employable individual.

Award Levels

JASS gives school pupils the chance to nurture their skills and develop new experiences when meeting each level of this award. There are 8 different levels, ranging from white to gold. Each level responds to an increase in duration on the challenges.

Each level has four challenges, which are:

  • My interests - creating a new hobby/skill
  • Get active, stay active - getting involved in sport or a physical activity
  • Me and my world - helping in your community
  • Adventure - focusing on outdoor activities (teamwork/problem solving)

Each challenge takes a set period of time, which is done over a term or two. There are two ways to participate in JASS, these are by either using the hard copy folder (levels white up to blue) or – for bronze, silver, and gold levels – using their online system, eJASS.

Click here to find out more about timescales for each level, and also to understand how to get onto eJASS, please click here.

Getting Started

Ask in your school, whether they run this award. If they do then speak to your JASS mentor/leader, and they will be able to get you started. If not, then direct your school to the JASS site by clicking here.

For any other questions about JASS, you can contact them by clicking here.