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.

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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.

Abu Bakr Girl’s School Maths Challenge

A fantastic day at Abu Bakr Girl’s School in Walsall. We ran a Maths Challenge aimed at letting the pupils understand the importance of Maths in terms of school grades and future careers. One challenge involved them making a range of Maths shapes in 3d and then jazzing them up with a themes to present to the judging panel.

With only one hour to complete the activity from scratch, the girls used their teamwork and creativity skills to produce a range of brilliant ideas as shown below.

The Business Supporters and I enjoyed every minute of working with a group of talented and intelligent young people.

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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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10 year olds interview Business People

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Now that was a brilliant session. Day Three of my Get Real programme.

Year 6 pupils interviewed a selection of local Business People.  Thank you to:

Craig Vincent – MD of Azalea Event Management

Ron Betts – Education Consultant

Mel Wilson – Walsall Council

Jayne Howarth – Freelance Journalist

Sarah Mills – Department of Work and Pensions

They then helped the kids write and deliver presentations and then gave a Careers Advice workshop about their job roles and backgrounds. Top class Skills Development to set up the young people for their transition to secondary education.