A busy few days

What I love about my business is the sheer variety. Here’s a snapshot of the last few days.

SEE PROJECT

I was invited to run a workshop for the SEE Project for delegates from Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Holland and Turkey. I spoke about how I deliver Careers Advice and got them to do a short design, build and present STEM activity.

Lovely people and I was most impressed with the delegate from Turkey who bravely stood up in front of everyone to do his presentation in English. He did a great job. Much better than I could have done in Turkish.

ANTI-BULLYING DAY

Chase Terrace Technology College invited me to run a Bullying Awareness Day for Year 7 pupils. We discussed bullying issues in school and online then got them to write and deliver a presentation on bullying-prevention techniques.

An excellent day supported by Carole Hands (Helping Hands), Darren Christie (DWP) and Jacqui Pountney MBE.

CAREERS ADVICE 

As well as one-to-one interviews, I have also brought speakers into schools to give advice as industry professionals. Pictured is Hope Nightingale from Birmingham City University talking about careers in Arts, Media and Fashion to year 11 pupils at Aldridge School.

 

I am blessed to have found something I enjoy that also has the benefit of developing our young people.

 

 

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Year 8 Design Challenge at Aldridge School

DSC_0001 DSC_0005 DSC_0007 DSC_0010 DSC_0015 DSC_0017 DSC_0019 DSC_0022 DSC_0024 DSC_0025 DSC_0027 DSC_0029 DSC_0032 DSC_0037 DSC_0038 DSC_0039 DSC_0041 DSC_0042 DSC_0043 DSC_0044 DSC_0045 DSC_0046 I ran a Design Challenge for Year 8 pupils from across the Black Country at Aldridge School in Walsall. Fourteen teams took part in a challenge to design a musical charity event. To give them ideas, we had a performance from the Lakeside Academy Steel Band from Telford and a talk from Emily Cooper from the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Teams then had two hours to devise the event, design a new steel band and choose a charity to support. We also got some finance into the brief by getting them to send ticket prices to generate funds.

All the teams came up with great ideas that they presented on stage to the judging panel of Rick Cosco (Steel Band Leader) Trevor Braidley (Birmingham Council Finance Manager) and Jacqui Pountney MBE (Walsall Equestrian Society).

Aldridge School managed to beat tough competition to win the trophy.

This Challenge will now become and annual event as it is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to develop their Teamwork, Communication, Creativity and Presentation Skills.

Information Technolgy Careers Advice at Aldridge School, Walsall

NITP Careers Advice

Mandy and Mark from NITP delivering an Information Technology Apprenticeship Careers Session at Aldridge School today.

A brilliant workshop at all levels; they learned about Apprenticeships, found out about professional qualifications and know how to apply for an IT Apprenticeship training programme. Top class careers advice in action.

Meet Melody Hossaini at Cheslyn Hay High School – 24th April 2013

Melody Hossaini, contestant on BBC TVs The Apprentice, will be appearing at our Year 10 Business Challenge at Cheslyn Hay High School on Wednesday 24th April 2013.

We are delivering a Social Enterprise Challenge and Melody will be there to explain what SE is and judge pupil presentations to help choose the winning team.

Volunteers from the local business community are more than welcome to attend. Go here to register!

Welfare payments and school grades

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An interesting article in today’s Times about Tennessee discussing the link between school grades and welfare payments. They are suggesting cutting payments to families of kids with low grades.

I can see what they’re trying to do but families on low incomes tend to be the worst educated, so how are they supposed to help their kids do better at school?

Perhaps they could encourage their kids to go to school more often, encourage them to do their best, help them to identify future careers.

Maybe cutting benefits is the only way to make this happen. There again, it’s another way for governments to save money by pushing more people into poverty.

Good intention but bad idea!  Try again Tennessee

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/americas/article3732416.ece

School Curriculum -Stop Meddling Politicians

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his BBC News article about the ‘Pub Quiz’ school curriculum is spot on. Pumping useless facts into kids is not the way to go. Showing them potential careers and jobs will inspire them to achieve at school, not actively making lessons more boring.

I don’t want this blog to turn into constant Michael Gove bashing, but we can’t let him continue on a path of making school irrelevant and tedious (for kids and teachers!).

The curriculum needs to be brought to life by bringing employers and specialists into schools not by introducing yet another raft of pointless targets and inspections. Enough already.

Literacy and Numeracy in schools – Michael Gove

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Michael Gove makes some good points about raising Literacy and Numeracy standards in schools. It won’t hurt to push the kids a bit harder on these subjects but we can’t have schools turned into sausage factories of kids learning stuff they won’t need in future.

Back in the Fifties we needed to teach young people to go into factories or administration jobs. The new world economy demands a lot more creativity and self-starters. I don’t see why the two things can’t go hand in hand. Showing kids visions of the future and making them see for themselves the need for world class reading, writing and maths skills is going to have a greater effect than yet another raft of targets and inspection rules that just result in demoralising the teaching profession.

What is going to make our political leaders create an education system fit for it’s purpose?