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.

 

 

Aldridge School Interact Team

I love developing partnerships and this is my latest one.

Aldridge School Sixth Form have created an Interact Club in partnership with the Rotary Club of Walsall. It’s an initiative to provide enrichment experiences for young people by supporting various Rotary Club activities.

The first Aldridge School Interact activity is to support the annual Santa Sleigh Fundraising event all around the Walsall area.

Pictured are the Interact Team in their fundraising outfits.

If you’re around Walsall in the next few days please give generously as all money raised will go towards Rotary Club nominated charities.

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

Employer Forum promotes Skills Development in schools

DSC_0003I ran my second Employer’s Forum at the Saddler’s Club in Walsall on Wednesday. Companies and organisations from across the Black Country came together to discuss the delivery of Skills Development activities in schools across the region.

John Price, former manager of Walsall Education Business Partnership, gave a keynote speech explaining the history of skills development programmes and we need them today more than ever.

They received a schedule of planned activities this school year and gave a commitment to offer their support.

Anyone wishing to join this growing group of inspiring business supporters please get in touch.

Year 8 Design Challenge at Aldridge School

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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.

Cheslyn Hay High School Year 9s regenerate the area

I had an excellent day with Cheslyn Hay High School Year 9s. The school is very big on giving pupils the opportunity to develop their business and social skills.

The pupils did an Intelligence Quiz and a mini-challenge to create an art installation to demonstrate the future of Cheslyn Hay. We then gave them a budget of £100k to develop any part of town into a Social Enterprise Business.

All pupils came up with great ideas and then presented them to a judging panel made up of local business representatives:  Peter Cadman, Julie Lee and Tracey Wellings.There was a lot of ‘facing your fears’ as the pupils stood out front with a microphone in their hands and we ended up with fourteen superb presentations.

Young people developing the skills they’ll need for future success.

I’ll be back to see them again next year in Year 10!

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Literacy Day for Year 7 and 8 – One hundred twelve year-olds reading the Times and Mail!

I ran a two-day Literacy Event at The Mirus Academy in Walsall last week. Each day I had groups of Year 7 and 8 pupils developing their reading and writing abilities in a fun, competitive environment.

As usual, I had fantastic support from the local business community.

Day 1: David Tomalin – Age UK    Jacqui Pountney MBE – WES   Helen Gelsthorpe-Smith – Henn and Westwood

Day 2: David Tomalin- Age UK   Louise Taylor and Nicola Delahey- Juniper Training  Craig Vincent- Local Entrepreneur

My aim was to get the young people to read a quality newspaper and present a story they liked. I have to say they did a great job and chose some great stories, some of which I hadn’t seen.

A superb day with a group of lovely young people.

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Special School Business People of the Future

It was great to run a business challenge at Castle School with their primary pupils.

They had to invent and present a range of brand new businesses in only two hours. All of them came up with great ideas and faced their fears by standing in front of everyone to make their presentations.

They may not be academically-gifted but they can certainly hold their own in terms of ideas and communication.

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Year 9 Modern Foreign Languages Day – Shire Oak Academy

It was great to have the opportunity to deliver a Modern Foreign Languages day to Year 9 pupils at Shire Oak Academy.

With my Business Supporters, Helen Gelsthorpe-Smith (Henn and Westwood), PSCO Bernie Craze (West Midlands Police), Glenys Price (Gap Language Services), Jacqui Pountney MBE (Walsall Equestrian Society) and Sam Samuels (HSBC Bank) I delivered a three hour session that gave information on the value of learning a language to future careers and asked the pupils to create and make presentations using as many languages as they could.

The pupils worked hard and producing amazing ideas. It was a great day and I hope many of the pupils choose a language as a GSCE option.

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