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.

 

 

Digital Skills Gap

Martha Lane Fox brings up an interesting point about Britain’s Digital Skills Gap.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34570344

I work in schools and have recently met some Romanian Sixth Formers only in the country for three months. What an eye-opener. Their IT skills are way ahead of ours. They can already progamme in C++ .

We have got a bit of catching up to do.

Rugeley Sixth Form Enrichment Programme

I love joining different organisations together to create mutually-beneficial projects. The latest one is an Enrichment Programme for Year 12 students at Rugeley Sixth Form Academy. Through my contact with Paul Mobberley (Year 5 teacher) I approached Mr Minott, the inspirational Head of Chase View Primary School, to discuss the possibility of students supporting the school on arrange of projects. We came up with a Sports, Art and Reading Support Programme that six students are currently involved with.

They attend the school on a weekly basis during their free time to support where required.

Alex Nix-James was a former pupil at the primary school and it was great to take him back as a sixth-former to help current pupils. He was given the task to brighten up a metal container on site and below you can see the before and after pictures. Alex now has this project on his CV and the pupils at the school got to see an artist at work. Oh, and Mr Minott has got his container jazzed up.

Chase View Art 1Chase View Art 2

Aldridge School Skills Development Challenge

What a great day with Aldridge School Year 10 pupils today. They did a range of skills development activities which included writing a CV, a Letter of Application and inventing and presenting a new business.

There was a lot of facing fears as well as creativity and presenting skills on show.

Business supporters attending the event as facilitators and judges were: Jacqui Pountney MBE, Richard Scott and Sue Bedward of Space2focus. They interacted with the pupils, helped develop their ideas and had the tough job of choosing the eventual winners.

Rachael and Jo from InComm Training came in to give talk on Apprenticeships and how to apply as well as discussing employability skills.

I’ll be using the experience of working with Year 10 when I start their Careers interviews in a couple of weeks’ time.

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Richard Scott, Jacqui Pountney MBE and Sue bedward of Space2focus on the judging panel

Richard Scott, Jacqui Pountney MBE and Sue Bedward of Space2focus on the judging panel

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Year 9 Personal Finance Challenge

2nd place Crestwood School Dudley 3rd place St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College Caldmore Accord Housing Group Locality team Fun with Mike Hew Patricia Presenting Presenting talent Steve Presenting Talking on mic winners Bristnall Hall Academy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a fantastic event. Year 9 teams from across the Black Country came to Aldridge School to compete in a Personal Finance Challenge sponsored by Caldmore Accord Housing Association.

The morning was spent doing challenges based on household and personal budgeting and the afternoon involved writing and presenting a themed school fund-raising event.

Winners – Bristnall Hall Academy

Second – Crestwood School

Third – St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College

RAF Museum Playground Design Challenge – Wednesday 18th December 2013

What a brilliant day today. My first inter-school event at the RAF Museum.

Schools Attended:

Aldridge School

Holly Lodge High School

Crestwood School

Bristnall Hall Academy

Sutherland Cooperative Academy

Teams were asked to design a children’s playground for the Museum. They were shown the potential area and were asked to created a design based on the Museum’s history, equipment and artefacts.

All five teams came up with great ideas and Phil Clayton, The Museum Education Manager, chose Bristnall Hall Academy as the winners.

We are planning to put a superteam together from all five teams to come up with costings and a final plan to present to the Museum Board of Directors. Hopefully we can turn pupils ideas into reality.

Winners of the RAF Museum Cosford Playground Design Challenge

Winners of the RAF Museum Cosford Playground Design Challenge

Pupil working with Caroline on their design project

Pupil working with Caroline on their design project

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Scrapheap Challenge 2013

Winners of the Scrapheap Challenge 2013

Winners of the Scrapheap Challenge 2013

Aldridge School

Runners up in the 2013 Scrapheap Challenge

Education Business Services Ltd

 

 

 

Police working with pupils at the 2013 Scrapheap Challenge

Police working with pupils at the 2013 Scrapheap Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2013 Scrapheap Challenge took place on Friday at Aldridge School in Walsall. Nine teams took part in a challenge to design a work of art of a new product from end-of-life computer components.

They had to present their ideas on stage to a panel of business experts.

Bristnall Hall Academy were worthy winners and will host the challenge in 2014

One again, EBS Ltd recruited a number of businesses to support the event. These included AF Blakemore and Son Ltd, South Staffs Water, The Highways Agency, Bryant Construction, West Midlands Police and RePc Ltd. Thnak you all for making the event a success and sharing your knowledge and experience with the young people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Careers Advice in Schools

A great article today on the BBC News Website about Careers in Schools. Check it out here.

I run a careers Advice programme at Aldridge School in Walsall. My way is to bring in a range of Industry specialists to talk to targeted groups of pupils.

It works very well and I’ve had some great feedback from an independent audit, which gauged young people’s responses and remarks.

Anyone delivering careers without involving the local business community should not be doing the job.

Spelling and Grammar test SATS

Spelling and grammar test for all 11-year-olds next week to tackle poor literacy

I know loads of adults who would struggle to spell some of the words in this article!

Up to 600,000 schoolchildren will be required to sit a new exam in spelling, punctuation and grammar amid fears that almost a quarter of pupils are starting secondary education with substandard literacy skills. This is from the Telegraph…

For the first time next week, all 11-year-olds in England will be tested on 20 commonly misspelt words such as “separate”, “preferred” and “necessary”, it was revealed.

The exam – part of the annual round of SATs tests – will also cover the correct use of punctuation, including colons and apostrophes, and ensure that pupils apply grammatical rules such as subordinate clauses and a range of connectives.

The move comes amid concerns that the basics were neglected under the last government, with too many pupils struggling to write accurate sentences and structure essays properly.

Some of the worst spelling mistakes from old-style writing exams – based on a piece of prose – have included “tareybul” for terrible, “unyoushil” for unusual, “rtecker” for article and “avelerbilltey” for availability.

England’s main classroom unions have attacked the test, insisting it will heap extra pressure on young children and force teachers to drill pupils to pass.

The National Union of Teachers is investigating the possibility of boycotting the exam altogether next year.

But Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said too many children “struggle with the basics of the English language at primary school, then don’t catch up at secondary school”.

A sample writing test carried out last year found 23 per cent of 11-year-olds failed to reach the expected standard for their age group – equating to around 125,000 children.

She added: “That is why employers bemoan the poor literacy of so many school and college leavers.

“This new test will mean that children are again taught the skills they need to understand our language, and to use it properly, creatively and effectively.”

Previously under Labour, pupils were given a writing test covering a simple piece of prose, but it was scrapped because of concerns over poor marking.

Next week, pupils will take the new spelling and grammar test alongside a reading and maths exam.

It will be made up of a 45-minute grammar test and a separate 15-minute spelling exam covering 20 words.

Pupils will be expected to recognise the difference between formal and non-standard English, in response to concerns that too many youngsters rely on so-called “text speak”.

The exam will also focus on the grammatical functions of words, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions.