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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EBS Ltd Gains Matrix Quality Standard

I’m pleased to announce that Education Business Ltd has gained the national Matrix Quality Award for providing Information, Advice and Guidance to young people in schools. We passed the rigorous assessment process and look forward to continuing our work in local schools

EBS Ltd - Matrix Quality Standard

EBS Ltd gains Matrix Accreditation for Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

STEM Design Skills in Action

Young people using engineering design skills

Young people using engineering design skills

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A great day at Blue Coat Academy with their Year 9 pupils today. We got them to use design skills to create their own ideas from K’nex kits. They only had half an hour and it was wonderful too see what they came up with.

Employers want more kids to have experience and knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths so I would suggest they get more involved in school-based projects to give first-hand information and advice to our young people.

There was so much talent on show today that it was inspiring and gave me great hope for the future.

Gifted and Talented pupils develop Business Skills

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Working with Gifted and Talented pupils is always a pleasure.  They are willing to learn, have skills and can take a joke (and dish it out in return!).

Today I was at Aldridge School in Walsall delivering a Business Challenge. It was in two parts. Firstly they did a mini-challenge which was judged at their table and then they had to get up on stage for the main presentation.

Ann Glaze from DWP and Brian Coldicutt from South Staffs water kindly gave up their day to work with the teams and judge their presentations.

It’s great to give business the opportunity to come and see the calibre of young people. Some of these are ready to go into the workplace and do a great job. They will ace their exams and go on to great futures. Hopefully the Skills Development I offer through these activities will help on the way.

It was an inspiring end to the week.

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.

Sir Michael Wilshaw considers resigning

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The news about Michael Wilshaw considering his future isn’t surprising. The Head of Ofsted is a poisoned chalice for anyone with an interest in the future of our young people. Being a Gove mouthpiece is not a role for anyone with experience in education who would put a child ahead of some government target or lame initiative.

I work in schools every day (not as a teacher) and see them trying every way they can to inspire and motivate pupils to achieve their best. As has always been the case, the kids who can pass exams will, those who can’t won’t. I appreciate there’s a grey area where some borderline kids can go up or down a grade but it’s not a benchmark for a good school to judge them on how many kids can sit and regurgitate a range of facts at a certain time on a certain date. I thought we were preparing them for a future in work. I also work with local business and no-one has asked for this skill. They want fully-rounded individuals ready to do a day’s work and achieve great things for their company.

Schools who try to give their pupils the full experience have to do it with reduced funding and Ofsted slamming them for not turning out automatons, not allowing for ability, family background and the efforts our fantastic schools put in to keeping them on track.

Yes Mr Wilshaw, it’s a crap, pointless job and will be over when the Conservatives lose the next election because they continue to get every key decision wrong. Putting you in place was one of them.

 

Police give Careers Advice

Bernie at Leamore primary School supporting Lorenzo Cosco from Education Business Services Ltd

Bernie at Leamore Primary School supporting Lorenzo Cosco from Education Business Services Ltd

I love delivering my Get Real programme. The latest is at Leamore Primary School in Walsall.

Day One: Dream Jobs – Business and Social Skills – CV Writing

Day Two: Jobs in School – Apprentice Challenge – Employer Feedback

Day Three: Interview Skills – ICT Challenge

Pictured is PCSO Bernie Craze of West Midlands Police delivering a talk on her career. Year 6 loved it and gained in insight into law enforcement and possible consequences for getting into trouble.

A lot packed into a short time but very rewarding.

Literacy tests a ‘Waste of Time’ – Yet another hopeless initiative

clrtestAn official evaluation of the assessment – taken by 600,000 children for the first time last summer – found that most schools believed it told them “nothing new” about pupils’ ability.

The study also revealed that more than half of teachers thought the test was “too difficult” and was largely unsuitable for high-ability pupils or those at the other end of the spectrum with special needs and English as a second language.

It also emerged that most schools were in favour of using a variety of different methods to teach reading – not an exclusive focus on the phonics system favoured by the Government.

The conclusions will be seen as a blow to the Coalition which has ordered state primaries across the country to introduce the new assessment.

As part of the reforms, pupils are supposed to accurately “decode” a list of 40 words using phonics – the back-to-basics method in which words are broken down into constituent parts.

The list includes a number of made-up words such as “voo”, “terg”, “bim”, “thazz” and “spron” to ensure pupils are properly employing the phonics system.

It is intended to mark out pupils struggling the most after a year of compulsory education – allowing teachers to target them with extra help.

The Department for Education insisted it had been used to identify some 235,000 pupils who were not up to the required standard in reading last summer.

But an evaluation of last year’s exam – based on interviews with 940 teachers and 844 literacy consultants – also found widespread apathy towards the tests.

Special School pupils show Business Skills

I ran a Business Skills development Challenge at Castle Special School in Walsall today. These young people have academic difficulties but they can certainly raise their game when it comes to showing social and employability skills.

I have worked with these young people for five years on a regular basis and have seen them develop into fine young people. The school is superb and the teachers are so professional and organised that it’s a pleasure to be there.

The kids came up with a range of ideas (including apps, cars and toys of the future) and then wrote and delivered a presentation on their new product…All in half an hour!

My fear for these young people is that they will not get great qualifications, cannot complete a high standard CV and would interview pretty badly (they are not comfortable with new people). They could hold down a job of some description but will they ever get the chance?

It’s a shame that our ‘system’ does not offer the right after-education support and we allow potential to remain unfulfilled.