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.

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Royal Television Society Challenge Day with City TV

We had a brilliant day with Jayne Green and Des Tong at the RTS Challenge at Aldridge School. The pupils learned about careers in the Media industry, developed their transferable skills and created and presented a pitch for a TV programme.

Des Tong judges the pitches and chose the winners to go forward to the regional final. The winners there will have their programme idea actually made for broadcast on City TV.

City TV is being launched in September and will be found on Channel 8 of Freeview. Tune in!

Des is also bass player for Sad Cafe, a huge band from the Eighties who still perform to old and new fans. He also gave us a solo rendition of a Nile Rodgers bass line (from Chic). Google them if you’re too young to get the reference!

The pupils were superb and came up with a range of worthy ideas. I’m looking forward to the next one at St Francis of Assisi School on 30th April.

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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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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.

Gove destroying Britain’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

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George Osborne has been trumpeting the beginnings of an economic recovery as if he was responsible for it! read the Daily Mail article here.

He talks about Britain’s Entrepreneurs leading the way. Not for long if Michael Gove has his way. His plans for introducing rote learning in schools and to focus on history and classics is trampling on the creativity I see in our young people every day.

I’ve never heard an employer ask that a new employee knows who Winston Churchill was or how to conjugate a latin verb. What’s the point of teaching kids to remember useless facts that they can Google if they need it? What employer needs kids who can remember useless facts and write them down at a certain time under certain conditions?

We need to enthuse kids with learning and make schools a vibrant, creative environment where they can gain confidence, learn through doing and make them a force to reckon with in the workplace of the future.

Michael Gove wants a conveyor belt of people who followed his path.What we don’t need is a tide of young people being trained to become politicians. If that’s what happens then the last person standing please turn out the lights.

 

Petition Michael Gove to Teach in a School!

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Here’s a good one. Maria Rudden has started a petition to get Michael Gove to teach for a term in a school.

He’ll never do it but it’s got to be worth signing the petition to put a bit of pressure on.

I think all Government ministers should be required to work in the area they are managing. Perhaps some real world decisions could be made based on experience instead of meetings with the great and not so good.