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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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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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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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.

Business people help pupils develop practical craft skills

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I love my job. This session was to help develop Year 6 pupil’s Teamwork, Communication and Creativity skills. They were tasked with designing jewellery and devising a marketing campaign to sell it.

I had support from Jacqui Pountney MBE, Bernie Craze and Steve Markham from West Midlands Police and Helen Gelsthopre-Smith from Henn and Westwood.

As usual, the kids rose to the challenge and created some great pieces. On Monday they will be setting up their stalls for a panel of judges to choose the winning team.

These are our business people of the future, learning business skills in a school environment.

School view of Education Business Services Ltd delivery….

From Blessed Robert Johnson College website

Year 8 Social Enterprise Event

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On Wednesday 1st May Year 8 were taken off-timetable to participate in a ‘Social Enterprise Event’ run by Lorenzo Cosco, from Education Business Services Ltd. Culminating in a Dragon’s Den style finale, students were asked to work in teams to create ideas that could be used to make a difference as well as generating money that could be used for Social Enterprise. The students came to school dressed in smart outfits, to help them to empathise more fully with the real world of work.

The judges included Peter Forrest, the Managing Director of Panoptic Systems Integrated Ltd in Newport, as well as representatives from the Department of Work and Pensions: Sophie Tipper, Carol Hartshorne, Christine Woolley and Anthony Hyde.

Also there to explain more about Social Enterprise and to highlight a competition for budding young social entrepreneurs were Eva Fryc and her colleague Julie from UnLtd, which supports and funds projects across the nation.

Chris Gosling from TCAT also came along to support the employability skills discussed and to raise awareness for students of the career choices they will be making in the near future regarding their options and post-16 courses.

The day was very productive and we are very proud of the effort that many students went to in their presentations and outfits. We’d like to express our thanks to Lorenzo Cosco and all of our visitors and hope that we can continue to keep in touch and build upon such a positive experience in the future.

Here are some comments from the students themselves:

“I learned life is hard. To get your dream you need to start when you are young and get good grades.”

 “I’ve learned that life isn’t as easy as it sounds. It was enjoyable to work alongside peers to swap ideas. Jobs don’t just come to you, you need to work hard.”

 “Today I have learned to co-operate with people I don’t always work with.”

 “I’ve learned today that team work and communication is vital.”

 “I enjoyed using creativity to make a design. I learned that you can work with anyone if you listen.”

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