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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Spelling and Grammar test SATS

Spelling and grammar test for all 11-year-olds next week to tackle poor literacy

I know loads of adults who would struggle to spell some of the words in this article!

Up to 600,000 schoolchildren will be required to sit a new exam in spelling, punctuation and grammar amid fears that almost a quarter of pupils are starting secondary education with substandard literacy skills. This is from the Telegraph…

For the first time next week, all 11-year-olds in England will be tested on 20 commonly misspelt words such as “separate”, “preferred” and “necessary”, it was revealed.

The exam – part of the annual round of SATs tests – will also cover the correct use of punctuation, including colons and apostrophes, and ensure that pupils apply grammatical rules such as subordinate clauses and a range of connectives.

The move comes amid concerns that the basics were neglected under the last government, with too many pupils struggling to write accurate sentences and structure essays properly.

Some of the worst spelling mistakes from old-style writing exams – based on a piece of prose – have included “tareybul” for terrible, “unyoushil” for unusual, “rtecker” for article and “avelerbilltey” for availability.

England’s main classroom unions have attacked the test, insisting it will heap extra pressure on young children and force teachers to drill pupils to pass.

The National Union of Teachers is investigating the possibility of boycotting the exam altogether next year.

But Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said too many children “struggle with the basics of the English language at primary school, then don’t catch up at secondary school”.

A sample writing test carried out last year found 23 per cent of 11-year-olds failed to reach the expected standard for their age group – equating to around 125,000 children.

She added: “That is why employers bemoan the poor literacy of so many school and college leavers.

“This new test will mean that children are again taught the skills they need to understand our language, and to use it properly, creatively and effectively.”

Previously under Labour, pupils were given a writing test covering a simple piece of prose, but it was scrapped because of concerns over poor marking.

Next week, pupils will take the new spelling and grammar test alongside a reading and maths exam.

It will be made up of a 45-minute grammar test and a separate 15-minute spelling exam covering 20 words.

Pupils will be expected to recognise the difference between formal and non-standard English, in response to concerns that too many youngsters rely on so-called “text speak”.

The exam will also focus on the grammatical functions of words, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions.

Literacy and Numeracy in schools – Michael Gove

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Michael Gove makes some good points about raising Literacy and Numeracy standards in schools. It won’t hurt to push the kids a bit harder on these subjects but we can’t have schools turned into sausage factories of kids learning stuff they won’t need in future.

Back in the Fifties we needed to teach young people to go into factories or administration jobs. The new world economy demands a lot more creativity and self-starters. I don’t see why the two things can’t go hand in hand. Showing kids visions of the future and making them see for themselves the need for world class reading, writing and maths skills is going to have a greater effect than yet another raft of targets and inspection rules that just result in demoralising the teaching profession.

What is going to make our political leaders create an education system fit for it’s purpose?