Small Steps, Big Changes for Key Stage 1 Pupils


Key Stage 1 Young Leaders Award - Launch

Guests, headteachers and pupils gathered at Bishopthorpe Palace today as The Archbishop of York Youth Trust officially launched its new Key Stage 1 Young Leaders Award (YLA).

This exciting new addition to their portfolio of school-based character education and citizenship awards, builds on successful programmes at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4. The KS1 Award explores the theme of ‘small steps big changes’ through the characteristics of kindness, perseverance, teamwork and action.  Pupils take part in interactive activities and challenges to learn about these leadership skills and to help others around them, at home, in school and in their local community. 

The new resources for schools have been written specifically for Key Stage 1 and include a set of bespoke stories featuring a new ‘character’, Gracie, developed by children’s author Karen Langtree and illustrator Gill McLean.

Karen Langtree said: “It has been a thrill for me to work with the Archbishop of York Youth Trust developing the stories and song for the KS1 Young Leaders Award. It is exciting to be part of the adventure to help young children to think of ways of relating positively to each other and make a difference in the world.”

Staff and pupils from the schools involved in piloting the new resources shared how they had put their leadership skills into action to serve others.

Speaking at the launch event the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, “I am thankful that the Youth Trust has reached tens of thousands of young people across the north, encouraging them to think of others and make a difference for the better. Young people are our future. So enabling children to take part in this Award means that they can see from a young age the part that they can play in ‘being the change they want to see’. Fantastic!”

Aimee Try, Teacher at Driffield CE Infant School, who participated in the pilot said; “The children are far more aware of how they can help others on a large scale through supporting charities and on a small scale with everyday small acts of kindness. Through completing the Award, foundations have been laid in the hearts and minds of our children, to make compassionate citizens of the future.”

Rozy Brian, Strategic Lead for Primary Awards at the Youth Trust said; “We are delighted to be expanding our Young Leaders Award for KS1, so to give children meaningful opportunities to develop positive character attributes, leadership skills and the ‘habit’ of helping others from an early age.”

Schools can now sign up to take part in the KS1 Young Leaders Award at

To date the Youth Trust has enrolled over 634 Primary and Secondary schools to the YLA, empowering over 76,602 young people to make a difference in other people’s lives, through acts of service and community volunteering.

For more information about the Awards, please visit or contact The Archbishop of York Youth Trust: tel. 01904 231010 or, email: [email protected]