Appendix A: Article: Pupils fix their own goals at Swedish-run academies
Sweden’s education system is admired because it produces results, but I don’t think they are replicating this in Britain on large scale.
Appendix B: Article: NHS
I read an article (The Guardian) which said that you can measure the quality of a country’s healthcare by how it treats patients who are vulnerable and isolated members of the community, we want to take the same stance and show you how we can make underachieving students succeed, since their way of life presents them with their own unique opportunities. I’m certain of this. Again, this is done through the portfolio software allowing them to take control of their own career pursuit.
I heard someone say that “this is the reason why we need to help a brother find himself”. And that's wonderful how the toughest men can feel this nurturing. So I want to take action on this. In a century where you can be made in Chelsea and made in Tower Hamlets, I want to see people find their steps and character trappings. To feel casual with the software and to treat it like an extension of themselves. For it to be there at 2am in the morning, for it to watch you (careers advisor) and ask you questions.
Job arenas and job markets are not the only way to make a living. There are things you can do which earn you a way of life rather than a wage (funding).
Appendix C: Article: ‘It’s our narrow view of education that holds pupils back’ - written by Yvonne Roberts
Explains how the education system seems to bring students further down into a ‘rabbit hole’ while ‘reaching for the stars’.
Appendix D: Link to radio talk show (no need to watch!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFvYe7PDl4E&feature=related
A radio show in America touched on what young people are uploading onto YouTube. The quote we need take from this is. “kids do crazy things in their bedrooms”.
Appendix E: Case study of Chris Bates 2010 The Apprentice contestant
Appendix F: Case study of an airline service
Appendix G: 8 Essential skills they didn’t teach you in school
Appendix H: A small article from a student newspaper I read at City University
Appendix I: An article which highlights that it’s ‘cool to be a fool’
Leading males everywhere feel this way. While we work with alphas to produce results, the serendipity of their culture and our software, are hand in hand. We want to know who our cool guys are.
Appendix J: Turning failure into success
Appendix K: Shell LiveWire Discussion Forum
How leaders have been bouncing around the idea of careers
Appendix L: It’s not more education children need, it’s better character
Appendix M: The Power of a Good Education
Tower Hamlets students on the importance and benefits of carrying on to further education.
Appendix N: To tackle educational disengagement we have to go back to primary school
Appendix O: Qualifying for the Olympics
A university that lives inside job opportunities and a buzzing sports atmosphere.
Appendix P: At 10, all they want is to be astronauts
Appendix Q: Wanted: Keen mentors for young jobless
Appendix R: Teachers are waiting to be found out
Appendix S: Raising achievement through Podcasting
Pupils fix their own goals at Swedish-run academies
A radical Scandinavian experiment in the way schools are un began this week at two London Academies as 360 pupils started settling their own educational goals.
Traditionally it is teachers who fix targets for their classes and decide how they reach them. But at the Hampton and Twickenham academies – the first in England opened by Kunskapsskolan, the Swedish free schools operator – pupils are in charge of their learning.
A 40-step programme has been drawn up, based on the national curriculum, covering five core subjects of English, maths, ICT, science and languages from Years seven to 11. Year
Radical experiment will see teachers give control of up to 35% of learning time to children.
7 pupils will decide how many steps they will aim to complete in each subject. A minimum of 30 at a “silver” level of performance is needed to reach grade C at GCSE standard while 40 at “gold” level equates to an A*.
John Baumber, chief executive of the Learning Schools Trust – the charity set up y Kunskapsskolan to sponsor its academies in England – has been head of one of the company’s schools in Sweden where the same model is used.
“What tends to happen at the beginning is that students set very ambitious goals for themselves and realise as they move through them that actually they have probably either set themselves too high a goal or they need to put more time, effort or resource into in to achieve that level,” he said.
Pupils will proceed through the academies according to the step they have reached rather tan on their age and could theoretically sit their GCSEs as early as year 8 or 9.
Mr Baumber, who has also headed two English state secondaries, said that in practice the earliest for most pupil would be year 9.
The pupils will also decide how they reach their goals, and by the end of their time at the academies will control how 30-35 per cent of their time in school is spent.
“What is really important is that the students set the goals and they are not teacher-set goals,” Mr Baumber said. “The moment you start taking the goal away from the student you start running into motivational problems.”
“But every step is signed off, every week they sit down for 15 minutes with their [personal] tutors to check their progress and there is a twice=yearly review of the work they are doing towards those goals.”
He says this represents a big change for teachers, all of whom will become personal tutors to some of the pupils and take on a role more akin to “facilitator”.
Kunskapsskolan’s personalised approach is best suited to buildings with a variety of physical environments for learning. Its Swedish schools incorporate lecture theatres and small “cubbyholes” to accommodate two to four pupils, alongside traditional classrooms. But this approach will not be fully realised in Hampton and Twickenham until the academies move into new purpose-built buildings in 2013.
In Sweden, Kunskapsskolan has experimented with making teachers’ pay reflect, in part, pupils’ rating of their performance.
Steve Bolingbroke, the company’s UK managing director, said teachers in its English academies were paid according to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions document.
But asked if this could change, he said: “I am never going to say never. The whole environment in which schools operate is changing radically with this new Government. Let’ see what happens.”
York embarks on its novel 'fairness strategy'
Archbishop Sentamu launches first public meeting of a project squarely in the great tradition of Seebohm Rowntree
Thursday 22 September 2011 18.32 BST guardian.co.uk
Sentamu the campaigner for fair dealing. He cut up his dog collar and will not wear another until Mugabe steps down in Zimbabwe. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian
The city of York's promising new initiative, the Fairness Commission, has started public meetings, with the first opened on Wednesday night, September 21, by the Archbishop of York.
Rt Rev Dr John Sentamu, who we risk losing to Canterbury at some stage so let's get everything we can out of him, was characteristically ebullient at the launch.
He told participants at the open-ticket event at York university, that societies' health could be well-judged by their treatment of the vulnerable, poor and socially excluded.
A Sentamu innovation in York: open-air baptisms at Easter Photograph: James Glossop/Guzelian
The Commission follows in York's great tradition, most famously exemplified by Seebohm Rowntree's studies of poverty, of bearing exactly this point in mind. It aims to tackle poverty and injustice in all its forms, drawing on all the major local institutions as well as Joe Public in this crusade. It has set itself three main tasks: ensuring the well-being of everyone in the city, providing clear and easy access to services and support, and making the provision of work a priority.
Rowntree came from the famously practical chocolate dynasty whose Quaker piety was given muscle by the employment provided by the family and its company for thousands. The firm was also famous for enlightened employment practices including the provision of medical care, a model village, parks and education for its staff.
The Archbishop told the meeting:
I am so encouraged by the establishment of this Fairness Commission for York – and so proud to be its Patron. It is a great privilege to be asked to open this 'Fairness debate' in this great City of ours. As our country goes through tough economic times we need to remember that not all in our society are greatly privileged.
Over the next few weeks we will be discussing the big issues affecting our community. However, if is to be successful, the Fairness Commission must also deliver at a grass roots level. That is why these public meetings are so important. What needs to happen is a dialogue across our City. We need to listen to those in need and those facing difficult times. We want to hear your views. We want to do something about this. Let us stand together, united against injustice.
The first meeting focused on voluntary and community groups, public and private sector service providers, small businesses and trade unions, all of whom had members present. The commission's chair Ruth Redfern, formerly of Yorkshire Forward, the sadly abolished regional development agency, was there, along with commissioners Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett, John Lister and John Kennedy.
It's our narrow view of education that holds pupils back
The understanding of the importance of motivation and persistence is growing every day – but not within schools
It was all so very different in the time of Mr Chips. Robert Donat, left, and Terry Kilburn in the1939 film. Photograph: The Ronald Grant Archive
This week, the heads of the four main examination boards and officials from Ofqual, the exam regulator, are in for a testing time. They will be required to explain to MPs why some of their profession have indulged in behaviour that prompted Michael Gove, the education secretary, to call the examination system "discredited".
The revelations of the past week have only reinforced a profound unease on the part of many that while we may be educating our children, are they actually learning anything useful (except, perhaps, that cheating definitely does not come cheap)? Useful, that is, not just for their future employment prospects, but also to equip them to become rounded human beings who desist from giving up the first time they taste failure or hit a hump on the bumpy road to maturity ?
As Mick Waters, a former director of the government's exam regulator says: "We need to strip back to the bone and decide what education is for. There are children who learn paragraphs all day, every day, in year 11, just so they can write them one day in June."
Sadly, stagnant teaching methods anchored in the 19th century are not in the dock this week. Instead, MPs want to learn more about examiners' "tip offs" to teachers on which questions might or might not figure in exams; the perennial issue of dumbing down of standards and grade inflation and the extent to which the pressure of league tables on headmasters is causing them to bend the rules in ways that Mr Chips could never have envisioned.
Qualifications matter, but our neglect of other facets of learning makes us look moribund for a modern society. Better than obsessing about teaching to the test, why aren't we probing what stokes motivation? Ask any teacher and he or she will tell you a dozen stories of bright pupils who can't or won't stick at it; stymied by their own lack of grit. Given that we have thousands of disengaged young people mouldering in school, why are we not more curious about the positive deviants? Those boys and girls, some with low IQs, and against all the odds, who power ahead of their brighter peers for the simple reason that they refuse to give up?
Why aren't we telling teenagers, captive in the classroom, an alternative story? Why isn't there a stronger challenge to a child's belief that they have been labelled "thick" – by implication, at an early age by a well-intentioned graduate teacher, often from a distinctly different background? And to make them realise that that judgment may be far from true and certainly shouldn't mould a lifetime's choices?
The understanding of the value of motivation, persistence and self-belief are growing by the day, boosted by international research. The findings should be part of the blackboard jungle, only they are buried so deep in the undergrowth not nearly enough children and teenagers are able to benefit. On the contrary, as work by the University of Bristol has shown, these very qualities of resilience, resourcefulness and a belief in one's own effectiveness seem to drain away somewhere between the ages of nine and 13.
On the flipside, American academic Carol Dweck has shown that 40% of pupils in her studies have a fixed mindset. The "dumb" don't try because what's the point? The bright don't try either because they have no desire to risk plummeting into the basement while reaching for the stars. How can that be a smart outcome for a system?
In another piece of research, Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman looked at the importance of self-discipline in a group of 13- and 14-year-olds from a diverse mixed-ability school. Unsurprisingly, they found that highly self-disciplined adolescents out-performed their more impulsive peers, again and again. The two academics concluded: "We believe that many of America's children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain, and that programmes that build self-discipline may be the royal road to building academic achievement."
Seligman and Duckworth are far from alone. Many schools understand the importance of developing the non-cognitive skills. The tragedy is that because "education" is increasingly so narrowly defined, a young person can acquire a small army of qualifications but lack the time and opportunity to learn what really matters. That's what should be troubling Mr Gove.
Chris Bates: The Apprentice
Chris Bates, a 2010 Apprentice contestant was a ‘straight A’ student, employed by JP Morgan after graduating with a 1st Class Honours. In one of his confessions, he stated that,
“at those times, we just wanted to do what was respectable and good, and investment banking seemed the right way, but it’s not what I want to do”.
This is a shining example, of how we are demanded for, even from the most successful students.
Extra information about Chris:
Chris Bates is a 24-year-old investment banker from Surrey. He was educated at Wallington County Grammar School for Boys, a state school in Wallington in the London Borough of Sutton, followed by the University of Nottingham, from which he graduated with 1st Class Honours. After leaving university, he worked for nine months for JP Morgan, a commercial and investment banking institution in London, and left it to appear on the programme. His past jobs have included working in an off-licence and a pub. He was the runner-up in The Apprentice Final 2010, being beaten by Stella English. Lord Sugar said that he was not worried about Chris's future, and said that his doors will always be open for him. In the seven series of the programme, he is so far the only male runner-up (not including Junior Apprentice).
He is now working as an Investment Analyst for former Dragon's Den panellist James Caan's private equity company Hamilton Bradshaw.
Case study of an airline service
A tiny British airline that boasts a fleet of one plane - a 34-year-old Boeing 737 - was yesterday named one of the four best carriers in the world.
Palmair, which flies from Bournemouth airport, was rated ahead of global brands such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic thanks to its very personal service, which includes a member of staff who greets every passenger to make sure the seating plan she drew up on her kitchen table the night before suits everyone.
The airline was shortlisted by the consumer champion Which? with four other much bigger names. Singapore Airlines (1.5 million passengers a month) won top prize but Palmair (70,000 passengers a year) was runner-up along with India's Jet Airways and Air New Zealand.
David Skillicorn, managing director of Palmair, said: "We are just little Palmair with a little Boeing 737 yet we beat off the likes of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.
"Singapore Airlines has onboard massages and a choice of DVDs. All we can offer is the choice of tea or coffee."
Palmair was founded by businessman Peter Bath in 1957 when the company leased an aircraft to take passengers to Mallorca. It bought its own plane and now flies to 14 European destinations, including Spain, Tenerife, Portugal and Croatia.
Bath used to make sure he was in the departure lounge for each flight to greet the passengers.
When Bath died longstanding employee Teresia Rossello took over the role. She draws out the seating plan on her kitchen table the night before flights.
Stewardesses place fresh flowers on the plane every day.
Palmair employs 25 cabin crew and 25 back-office staff. The plane flies twice a day in the summer and once a day in winter.
The airline does not operate night flights as Bath believed they were antisocial.
8 Essential Skills They Didn’t Teach You In School
August 15 by BrianArmstrong
Lately, I’ve been simultaneously using less and less of what I learned in school while discovering more and more skills that are vital to success which were never even offered in school!
If I were to be 100% honest, probably the most valuable skill I learned in college was how to talk to girls (certainly a vital skill for happiness and success, but not what I was there to learn).
The economics classes? Nope, mostly academic mumbo-jumbo that is entirely useless to all but a handful of policy makers. The computer science classes? Hmm, maybe about 10% of that I’ve used, but it’s nothing I couldn’t have picked up with a couple good books, which I routinely do now. The history, English, philosophy, and physics? Aside from giving me a general understanding of the world and making me sound smart at cocktail parties, I can’t think of anything in there that I really use on a day to day basis.
Much of college gave me a bad taste for education. It made learning a real drag. I got through it to get the degree, but it wasn’t until after school that my education really began.
So what are the top skills that should be taught to every man, woman, and child who enters our education system? I’m glad you asked…
How to make people like you and network
For a skill so essential to success that affects every area of your life (from dating, to family, to work) it’s amazing how little people know about this. I can hear you saying…”I thought some people were just born with it and the rest of us were out of luck! You mean it’s something you can study?” Well, yes!
There is great power in knowing you can reach out to your network whenever you have a problem to solve, to be able to reach key influencers at conferences and meetings, to make an impression on audiences, to project confidence and trustworthiness, and to make friends with other successful people.
The shy folks lurking in the corners at cocktails parties will never reach their full potential as human beings because our school system didn’t place enough value on “being social”. President Bush didn’t get the best grades at Princeton, but boy did he know how to network, and look where that got him.
Required reading: How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.
How to speed read and the power of audio books
Yes, speed reading and speed comprehension is real. The nominal investment of time it takes to learn pays off in spades for the rest of your life. After all, how would your life be different if you were able to read an extra book each week?
The same goes with audio books. If you spend an hour per day in the car learning instead of cursing at other drivers or listening to Britney Spears, you will have attended the equivalent of an entire semester course. Every major book today comes out on audio book, and you can read (listen to) them all without taking any additional time out of your day. Why wouldn’t you?
Looking at all the “required reading” links in this article might seem a little overwhelming, but I was able to listen to them all on audio books while driving around town. It was actually fun.
Required reading: The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracey
How to set goals and manage time
Want to know how to get anything done in life? Our school system doesn’t feel that this is worth teaching apparently, but call me crazy, I think it’s important (I’m probably preaching to the choir on LifeHack.org, but still).
The research that has come out lately is groundbreaking…everything from eliminating multi-tasking, using blocks of uninterrupted time where phone and email are off, prioritized to-do lists, urgent but unimportant vs. non-urgent but important tasks, etc.
If you have ever found yourself being busy all day only to wonder what you accomplished at the end of it, then you need to learn this stuff. Understanding productivity will give you such an advantage over other people it’s hardly even fair.
Required reading: Getting Things Done, Eat That Frog, No B.S. Time Management For Entrepreneurs
How to read a financial statement
Robert Kiyosaki is fond of saying that the rich teach their children how to read financial statements and the poor do not. He is right. Schools have never been very good at teaching people how to get rich, probably in no small part because professors are generally poor and wouldn’t know how to teach it.
Yet with 95% of our population retiring at or below the poverty level, the economy in the dumps, and many people losing their homes to foreclosure, I bet plenty of Americans wish their school system had been a little more focused on money. After leaving college my friends could tell you the symbolic meaning behind the Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales, but they couldn’t tell you the difference between a balance sheet and income statement. Nice job school system!
Required reading: Cash Flow Quadrant, or this blog article
How to negotiate, use contracts, and not get taken advantage of
If you want to accomplish anything of significance you’re going to have to work with other people. Whether its contractors, outsourcing, employees, etc…there is a certain art to structuring good contracts with these people, knowing how to find good talent, measuring results, knowing how to fire them, and not getting completely taken for a ride in the process. School teaches you none of this and most people have to learn it from the school of hard knocks by literally get taken advantage of several times.
Required reading: I haven’t seen many in this area but one that comes to mind is Donald Trumps The Art Of The Deal
How to save and invest
Again, people are never taught how to build wealth, which is why we have a nation in credit card debt. Moreover, they are never taught the power of passive income streams and how to really break free from the rat race of working 9-to-5. There is a whole body of literature on this topic which is never even touched upon in traditional education.
Required reading: The Richest Man In Babylon, The Millionaire Next Door, or Ben Franklin’s The Way To Wealth
How to be successful in life
Sounds sort of broad, doesn’t it? Yet some people have devoted a lifetime to understanding what makes people happy and successful. There are the big three: health, wealth, and relationships. People need to find what they really want to do with their life (something few of us ever really think about). We need to figure out how to do scary things that would be good for us, break bad habits, how to let go of bad things in the past, etc. There is a lot to learn here!
Required reading: What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, When I Say No I Feel Guilty, Think and Grow Rich, The Way Of The Superior Man (Ladies maybe you can recommend a relationship book for women in the comments)
How to spread an idea and basic marketing
Finally, I’ll just say that the basics of marketing are something everyone should understand. Even if you don’t think you’re in marketing, you’re in marketing. If you have an idea at work, or want to get a raise, or want to convince your kids to go see a movie then there is something applicable from the marketing world. Even just picking out a good headline for something you’re writing so that it will actually get read requires some basic marketing skills.
Required reading: Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Sales Letter, CopyBlogger, The Psychology of Influence
Until the school system comes around, I suppose its up to each of us to take care of our own education. That means reading, finding mentors, audio books, going to conferences, and of course blogs are a great resource.
The National student
Quote from a small article
University union representatives agree that peer pressure on students to take part in embarrassing and disgusting rituals is not only dangerous and degrading; it also discourages students who wouldn’t lower their moral standards from joining social groups or university sports teams.
Boys pretend to be tough, says leader
The TES 01.10.10
Mixed-sex schools can force boys to pretend to be tough and uninterested in learning, a private school leader suggested. Many parents are turning their backs on co-educational schools amid concerns that the environment is teaching them that it is “cool to be a fool”, says the Independent Association of Prep Schools.
BBC News education reporter
The "poorest-performing schools" in England are being threatened with closure if they do not improve.
But why do schools fail? Do schools, like a rough pub, lose their way, gain a bad reputation which, no matter how hard they try, they find impossible to shake off?
Can schools overcome the poverty of expectation?
Is it the community they serve, with deprived neighbourhoods, parents with little formal education and a lack of desire for their children to learn?
Or is it down to the quality of the people who run schools and teach in them?
If there was a simple answer, there would be no failing schools.
Roy Blatchford, a former inspector with responsibility for failing schools, now works with struggling schools through educational charity the National Education Network.
He says schools which struggle are nearly always on what the Americans call "the wrong side of the tracks".
"It is rare to find a school in difficulties serving a catchment area that is truly comprehensive - as opposed to being skewed towards the poorer families."
And this brings with it a whole raft of other disadvantages.
It makes it more difficult to recruit the best teachers, particularly in shortage subjects like design and technology, maths and science.
Recent government-funded research showed that schools with a higher proportion of children on free school meals had fewer teachers qualified beyond A-level in the subjects that they taught.
The parents vote with their feet and it becomes difficult to recover
Head teacher of Shene School
"Conversely, there may well be teachers with a doctorate in a science department of a good school," says Mr Blatchford.
So the cards do seem to be stacked against the schools with the toughest jobs on their hands.
Lesley Kirby is head teacher of Shene School in Richmond, south-west London, where 21% of pupils achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths last year.
She is the fifth head teacher at Shene in as many years.
Although the school is in an affluent London borough, 80% of its pupils are from outside Richmond and come from some of the poorest backgrounds in the country.
And yet the school is funded at the level of a leafy, green borough with lots of middle class pupils.
"When a school goes into a spiral and falls into decline, a number of things hit it.
Academies have been launched to widen school choice in poorer areas
"The parents vote with their feet and it becomes difficult to recover," she says.
"With the loss of pupils comes the loss of cash and the loss of the staff needed to teach the pupils.
"But you still need to maintain the same number of buildings and facilities."
'Hill to climb'
Mr Blatchford says when a school drops into Ofsted's inadequate category or misses basic targets, it has usually been stagnating for a while.
"Those schools that are deemed 'hard to shift' have often been grindingly satisfactory for a long time. They have lowered their expectations and they no longer have high expectations for their pupils."
This certainly seems to have been the situation in at Shene School, which was rated "unsatisfactory" by Ofsted in September 2007.
"The past instability has been unsettling for most students and resulted in a lack of motivation and commitment to learning," the report says.
It talks of a "legacy of underachievement" but recognises the fresh energy of the new head teacher and her staff.
"Now staff and students' morale is high, and they speak of the different atmosphere in the school as the behaviour and attitude of students improve," Ofsted continues.
But Ms Kirby has a hill to climb. Some children still turn up to school without a pen or paper.
"These students often come from homes where education isn't valued or the child isn't cared for in the proactive way that you and I might think they should be," says Ms Kirby.
A key part of the fight back has to be winning back the support of the local community, many of whom can afford to send their children to private school.
Perhaps the local authority's current plans to turn it into an academy sponsored by an organisation called Edutrust, partly funded by businessman James Caan, will help.
Bob Dore, the principal of Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough, has overseen a gradual rise in examination results over the last few years.
The school was in special measures when he arrived, even though it was already a city academy, but is now considered by Ofsted to be satisfactory.
Last year some 12% of pupils got five good GCSEs including English and maths, and this year he hopes that 20% will make the grade.
He hopes that 40 or 50% will get five good GCSEs not including these two core subjects.
But situated in an area of substantial economic deprivation, with a third of pupils having special educational needs, further improvement will be a substantial challenge.
Many students enter the school with very weak basic skills, especially in literacy, according to Ofsted.
This is why Mr Dore has arranged for his teachers to start working with local primary schools to improve their literacy standards.
However, the school has just been recognised as being one of the five best performing city academies in England.
"Getting pupils reaching five As to C is one of our concerns. We also have to ensure our children are healthy and their home life is stable.
"We are all about giving child a really good experience between the age of 11 and 16.
"They've got to want to come to school and want to come to lessons," Mr Dore says.
For Mr Blatchford, a sensitive inspection regime is key to raising standards in the 638 schools deemed failing by the government.
"It has to be one that both weighs and nurtures the baby," he says.
"Some of these schools have had too much done to them. People get fed up at being told improve, improve, improve.
"Outside intervention which makes people feel better about what they can do can lift their horizons."
But Carmel Littleton, head of young people and learning at Tower Hamlets Council, which has the most improved GCSE results in the country, says the relationship between a local authority and a failing school also has to be robust and open.
"It's not good enough for schools to make incremental changes because in the meantime children will still be going through a failing system and coming out without the appropriate qualifications.
"Change has to be pacy," she says.
Shell LiveWire Discusion Forum
Senior Member of Shell LiveWIRE
Registered: Feb 2005
Organising an exhibition for a niche market
This isn't about hiring a space for an exhibition ..this is about actually organising the whole event and making it an annual event!.
I'm currently working on a project that encourages more pupils into science, technology ,engineering, and maths (or STEM). I have contacts within each organisation that has a vested interest in this area. Am looking at bringing together industry/private sector businesses to inform on a grand scale schools in our region (to begin with London and South East) what is available for pupils.
It's like a careers event but am looking to make it more interactive.
Where would people even begin to bring such an idea to the fore? I'm currently looking ot bring together a team with a vision to help the student community gain access to the STEM industries and understand them.
Comments or feedback about this idea at all?
Mrs Eiman Munro
Loop Card Games
"Making learning fun"
Old Post 23-02-2008 12:37 AM
Registered: Feb 2006
Hi Eiman, we've chatted a few times before as I'm looking at starting an education / leisure related social enterprise.
I'm really interested in your careers card games. This year I had to teach a 4 week 'careers' block to Year 9 as part of PHSE. We had to use a resource called 'The Real Game' - lots of photocopied sheets and pretty dire. The students had to create a 'dream cloud' and cost up what they wanted in life, they were then given a job (no choice, we allocated them) with a set wage and they had to work out whether that job covered 'living the dream or not'. The class also completed Kudos as well, which is a very outdated computer programme that tells the students what jobs it thinks they will like.
The 4 weeks went OK, but for many students it was pointless. They had no idea what most of the jobs entailed, and had no concept of what they needed to do to get those jobs.
We also had 'Aim Higher' come in to do a talk / show, trying to get students to think about going to University. The show was OK but again it was nothing specific, most just saw it as 2 hours off their normal lessons.
I agree more needs to be done, it may be worth talking to Connexions as they seem to coordinate most of this stuff. One idea I can think of is a SMET show / day. It is common now for schools to select 10-30 students to take to an event for the day.
The best idea I saw was from a very 'out of the box' thinking media technician from a school. She printed out loads of posters around the time of A-Level Options choices. One had a picture of Jordan saying 'Want to be a plastic surgeon and get your hands on Jordan, then you need A-Level Biology, speak to your Science teacher NOW!'. The poster got taken down after a day but it got many students talking!
New social enterprise coming soon
Old Post 24-02-2008 08:04 PM
Registered: Feb 2005
go4it..thanks for your really helpful response. I was pleasantly happy to see someone called 'go4it' respond to the idea
I'd love to chat further with you about the games. Though the project will go beyond just games...I'm looking at various things at the moment.
As always, research and funding is the main issue at the moment...not to mention time!
Although I set up originally as a social enterprise (or rather won a social entrepreneur award) the business has become a limited company by shares to attract investment as well as generate a profit.
Mrs Eiman Munro
Loop Card Games
"Making learning fun"
2010 - 09 - 06
Overview Publications Project Blog Over the past 60 years, soft skills like agency, application, initiative, and emotional intelligence – traits that we argue describe one's character – have become far more important to success in labour market, in developing strong relationships and families, and in contributing to one's general well-being.
As social mobility has stalled during this same period, opportunities to develop strong character are becoming more and more the privilege of already advantaged children. Through an exploration of developmental psychology, parenting technique, and social change, Demos seeks to understand when and how good character develops and what the implications are for parents, communities, and public policy.
Psychology shows that the early years and antenatal period are the most important times for child development – the scaffolding for key life skills and character traits is built from birth: when babies learn that crying brings (or will not bring) parental intervention, parents set the groundwork for the development of agency. Throughout childhood and adolescence, children internalise notions of social and behavioural norms from observing and interacting with their parents and adults close to them.
Over time, it appears that socioeconomic background is increasingly associated with parental effectiveness, which is compounding the inequalities in life chances for children.
Given we know that character development is crucial to children and young people, what is the role of the state and society more broadly in supporting families in developing certain character skills in young people? Do we need to update our ideas about parental responsibility in light of this evidence? These are instinctively difficult questions, perhaps especially for progressives, but if we are serious about promoting equality of opportunity we need to join up a consideration of which factors underpin intergenerational transmission of advantage and disadvantage with parenting policy.
Tower Hamlets College Students
It's a difficult choice as to whether or not further education is the right move for you. Here are seven reasons we think should point you in the direction of carrying on your academic path.
1. Pleasure. The purest reason to do a college course is for the simple academic pleasure it will give you. What could be better than spending time studying the subject you love in the company of likeminded people? There's a lot to be said for putting off the dreary world of work, financial commitments and mortgage-slavery for as long as possible - especially as it now looks as though we'll all be working well into our 70s.
Studying gives you an opportunity to really get inside a subject and, ultimately, leave your mark on your area. Most courses require students to produce a substantial piece of research, and this may be your opportunity in life to produce a piece of work that is both genuinely original and influential.
2. Experiences - You will meet more people going to college than not going, this can actually lead to jobs as well. College is about meeting all different kinds of people, you'll meet people from many different cultures with many different interests. And if you don't know what you want to do, going to college gives you the time you need to create your future. You may even discover the career you've always dreamed of, whilst learning about life along the way.
3. Stand out from the crowd. In the future when you're going for interviews a strong & successful college footprint will help raise you above others fighting for the same job.
4. Find your vocation. Although you may not know what you want to do now, surrounding yourself with other students all studying different courses will help you to consider exactly what you want to do with your life.
5. Collect transferable skills. If you ring up any recruiter and ask them what they look for when choosing which staff to hire, they will all tell you they are looking for evidence that the candidate possesses the kind of skills they will require in the workplace. What kind of skills are they talking about? Report writing, good communications skills, self-motivation, statistical analysis and research skills, computer modelling - all skills that you can develop at college and all highly prized in a range of professions.
6. Earn more money - It's a good bet that the more you know the more you'll earn. This will be a mix of life skills through your college experiences and all you'll learn from your course.
7. Create your own independence - Your parents brought you into the world, but if you want to make your own choices in the future, and perhaps get your own financial security then college will be key in finding that independence.
2010 - 09 - 06
While previous work on preventing young people from being not in employment education and training (NEET) while 16-19 has focused on the 16-19 age group, understanding of the very early indicators and causes of becoming NEET – the problems that manifest at younger ages – is much less developed.
In partnership with the Private Equity Foundation, the research will be informed by information about children’s experiences at school, in the community and at home, collected from local authorities across the UK, alongside a review of international research and evidence.
The project aims to understand how problems might be addressed at a much earlier stage in the life cycle so that the chance of becoming NEET is reduced.
Almost one in ten 16-18 year olds were not engaged in education, employment or training (‘NEET’) in late 2007 – a status associated with huge costs both in terms of later life outcomes for these young people and for society. These are young people whom the system has failed. There has rightly been a strong focus on trying to reduce these numbers, but it has met with limited success.
This is because politicians and policymakers have failed to recognise the extent to which the very visible problem of disengagement post-16 is only the tip of the iceberg. It is symptomatic of some deeper problems that run through our education system. Many of these young people have had poor experiences of the education system that long predate their NEET status. It is clear we have a problem with disengagement amongst younger groups.
By Karen Stretch, Jayne Atherton
Champ campus: slap bang in the heart of London’s Olympic regeneration, it’s no surprise the UEL is buzzing
With campuses in Stratford and Docklands, the University of East London’s links to the 2012 Games are evolving as fast as the stadium.
With a plethora of part-time and short courses on offer, there are numerous opportunities to plug into the local jobs market.
‘because we are so close to the Olympic site there is a real feeling that change is happening and the students are a part of it,’ explains UEL’s acting head of student recruitment marketing, Neil Cole.
‘We have been developing a series of courses which can match the employment requirements of the Games and, more importantly, its legacy.’
These include IT courses, human resources qualifications and an MA in sustainable tourism management, which will have the 2012 Olympics as a case study on its doorstep.
There is also an undergraduate BA in sports journalism, which focuses on London as the host city for the 2012 games and hopes to address the increased demand for sports writers, presenters, PRs and press officers.
And with an award-winning record for helping mature students to study, UEL’s flexible approach ensures a good life-study balance: a vital requirement for career changers or those with family commitments.
The recession has prompted a rise in applicants for short courses, with people keen to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons.
‘People are not able to do the traditional day-release courses any more as employers cannot allow the time out of the office,’ explains Dr Shani Gbaja, associate director of UELconnect, the university’s unit which offers flexible learning.
‘Some people sometimes don’t want their companies to know they are retraining and they upskill in their own time and at their own expense as a way of improving their job chances.’
There is also the opportunity to study from home, with UEL hosting one of the biggest distance-learning centres outside Open University.
‘We have people studying with us in Germany and Africa because they want to upskill and can’t travel.’ Says Dr Shani.
Closer to home, UEL aims to tie in to Olympics-related opportunities, such as Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, due to open in 2011.
‘This represents major job opportunities on the landscape of east London that will exist beyond the Olympics,’ explains Dr Shani.
‘It makes sense to employ local people and we are telling them that jobs are spring up on their doorsteps and the only thing holding them back is not having a useful skill.’
‘We are seen as the regional university driving the regeneration change so meeting employer needs is one of our strategic aims,’ adds Dr Shani. ‘To be able to say to people there is a job at the end of it’ is one of our major aims.’
A Personnel Best
It was thanks to a part-time courses at UEL that Theresa Wallace landed her job at mental health charity YoungMinds.
The 27-year-old human resources manager from Leytonstone wanted to further her career and realised that gaining membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel And Development (CIPD) was the way forward.
With the support of her previous employer she enrolled on UEL’sCIPD-accredited Post Graudate Diploma in Human Resource Management, and after a two-year course achieved not only the qualification but also a new job.
‘We did one afternoon and one evening and luckily I was working for an organisation that had flecitime, so it was good for blancing my work and the course,’ explains Theresa.
‘It was quite difficult going back to study even after a short period. The course was vocational but you had to be able to write essays and get back into reading as well.’
But the support of tutors and UEL’s online forums helped Theresa to maintain contact and feel fully involved.
‘I think it would be difficult to do it without working because you draw so much on your experience. To give the course content meaning you have to put it into practice in the workplace as well.’
By Sam Leith
Comes another day, comes another radical initiative to raise aspirations and break down barriers to social mobility. The Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, has decided that primary schools will start giving careers advice to children as young as 10.
This, he hopes, will help see off the “old boys” network and counteract the ujnfair advantages middle-class children have over those from poorer backgrounds. Will it, though?
No question something needs doing in this department. Only 55 per cent of 15- to 16-year-olds received formal careers advice last year, compared to 85 per cent in 1997. That’s not good. But the corrective is surely to increase the advice available to teenagers, not
“Let’s have practical careers advice made available to all. But 10 is too young”
-spread the careers service yet thinner by rolling it out to 10-year-olds.
It is one of the immutable laws of puberty that what you wanted to do when you were 10 will bear no relation whatever to what you want to do when you are 14. More than that, it seldom bears much relation to what you will be able to do when you are 14. One imagines a collection of weary but well-meaning professionals fielding enquiries about career opportunities in space exploration, stunt-driving, pop stardom, deep-sea exploration, espionage and being a princess.
“Astronaut? Do you know how much physics you need for that? Sorry. What’s Physics? Never mind. Let’s just say it’s – take that crayon out of your ear. It’s what? It’s stuck? Christ. Look, kid. How do I make this simple? Most astronauts can tie their own shoelaces. You might need to aim lower. YES I know they wear boots in SPACE. It’s a figure of sp.... oh never mind. Here’s another crayon. See if you can draw me a picture of a DUSTMAN. Very good. That’s a job application right there.”
That’s no fun for anyone concerned. But if careers advice at 10 is blandly encouraging as common humanity demands it be, it will be a waste of time and money: forgotten by the time it becomes relevant, or if not forgotten most likely the source of regret.
I'm all for less-academic teenagers being steered towards vocational qualifications, and more academic teenagers being given the encouragement to go where their abilities lead them regardless of background. Let’s have practical careers advice made available to all. But 10 is too young.
Children in the generation now growing up, thanks to their parents’ abominable and greedy mismanagement of the economy are in all likelihood going to have to work until the age of 85 to have any hope of retiring with a pension. Couldn’t we let them wait until puberty has passed before we bully them into thinking about how they’re going to pay off our debts?
And let’s give the poor careers advisers a break while we’re at it. When they were 10, they wanted to be astronauts too.
The CommunityPosted by Wong Wed, March 09, 2011 13:20:18
By John Higginson
THOUSANDS of unemployed young people are to be paired up with business mentors to help them get a job.
At least 150 major companies are supporting the government’s Backing Young Britain initiative and more are being urged to join.
The scheme follows new research showing 80 per cent of unemployed people in their teens and 20s have few, if any, people to turn to for advice on getting the job they want.
Work and pensions minister Yvette Cooper said: ‘Many young people lack the personal contacts to get advice on getting a job. We want to match them with a mentor who can inspire, motivate and give them the confidence they need to get a foot on the ladder. Mentoring is also a great way for firms to scout for fresh talent and for staff to develop coaching skills.’
Volunteers already include experts in travel, IT, engineering and management consultancy.
Mentors, who must spend a minimum of an hour a month with their assigned jobseeker, will receive training on the key skills needed to be a good coach.
The government hopes to pair up 10,000 young jobseekers with mentors over the next six months.
Find out more at backing-youngbritain-mentoring.org.uk
Time to stop making failure such an F-word
The TES – Letters
Julia Steward, Leadership development consultant, Somerset
Am I alone in noticing a connection between an action highlighted by Adi Bloom in her review of BBC2’s The Classroom Experiment and your article “On the Edge” (TES Magazine, October 1)?
In the programme, Emily took her sticks from each teacher’s pot, rather than being caught out not knowing an answer because “people do know I’m quite smart”.
Like most of us, she doesn’t want people to find out that perhaps she’s not as smart as people think.
In the magazine article, Jon Berry pointed out that “there’s a volcano waiting to explode in every school”, suggesting that both schools and teachers bury their heads in the sand until it is too late, and teachers are pushed over the edge.
Teachers generally have high expectations of themselves and, like Emily, will often expend considerable emotional energy to keep their failings secret. In a climate of high accountability, many teachers confess that they’re waiting to be found out. We need to challenge the conspiracy that says that failure is unacceptable, and develop schools where staff and pupils learn to accept failure as a step on the road to success.
Raising achievement though podcasting
24 April 09
The third podcasting conference to be hosted by the Guardian, in association with Lightbox Education, took place at the new King's Place premises on Friday 24 April. The conference hall was packed with secondary and upper primary school teachers and advisers from across the UK
Raising Achievement through podcasting conference
A Guardian conference in association with Lightbox Education
Notes from conference
The third podcasting conference to be hosted by the Guardian, in association with Lightbox Education, took place at the new King's Place premises on Friday 24 April. The conference hall was packed with secondary and upper primary school teachers and advisers from across the UK.
Lisa Spiller, Services Manager from learn.co.uk provided the opening address and thanked Lightbox Education for their support of the conference.
Dr Baldev Singh who heads strategic ICT development at Imagine Education Ltd talked about 'Global drivers in education and the changing face of technology'. His lively and inspiring talk set the tone for thinking about technology in terms of using it to connect with students. He stressed the importance of using technology in an innovative way to enable children to "do things they could not do before" and to advance their educational experience by equipping them "to do things at a level of complexity not formerly available to children." Baldev was keen to stress that new technological developments should not be artificially deployed as a tick box exercise. Power point notes
Doug Dickinson, an independent ICT consultant, addressed the issue of 'Podcasting - make yourself heard.' His starting point was the issue of understanding podcasting. He began with a useful definition "Audio podcasting is the concept of downloading various types of longer-form online audio programs, in the form of digital files you can listen to at any time you choose."
He encouraged teachers to get pupils to record and listen to their own voices before making a podcast. He explained the value of using a podcast as a resource for building confidence among pupils and also as a way of teachers assessing pupils work and amongst other things keeping reading records. It was important to think about the applications of podcasting and to examine its value as a learning resource.
Doug also addressed the practical issues of various types of recording. It was possible to use the built-in mic in a laptop. The Easi-speak mic is an inexpensive and easy to use recorder and the edirol provides good quality professional recording equipment.
Ben Green, is an audio producer at the Guardian. He highlighted the Guardian's commitment to multi-media and the value of podcasts for communicating aurally with a wide audience via the Internet. The Guardian has gradually developed and increased its podcast output and they are downloaded at the rate of 4 million per month worldwide. He encouraged teachers to enjoy experimenting with the technology just as the professional team of journalists have done. The journalists liked the flexibility of aiming for a half hour podcast but knowing that it could be reduced or expanded to fit the content.
Margaret Holborn, Head of Guardian News and Media Education Centre, talked about podcasting with students. She gave some very practical suggestions about how to make good quality podcasts with school pupils. She explained that from experience the preparation was vital. Pupils needed to have time to practise using any recording equipment. By interviewing one another and listening back they quickly honed their skills in speaking clearly, asking open ended questions, eliminating extraneous noise and writing a script. In podcasting sessions at the Guardian pupils had progressed from tentatively using the mic to interviewing journalists about their jobs. Writing a script for a podcast should include careful use of punctuation and a suggestion that tricky words be spelt phonetically to help with the speed and flow of the broadcast. Podcasting for beginners
Emily Drabble, senior editor of learnnewsdesk, the Guardian's online news service for schools (www.learn.co.uk), played some of the news podcasts she produces on a daily basis for secondary and older primary pupils, some of which are translated into Gaelic for Scottish pupils.
The learnnewsdesk team also publish a selection of the podcasts they receive from users. Emily described how she had witnessed some pupils who lacked confidence in their academic skills blossom when given the opportunity to express themselves orally on a topic which interested them. Pupils can feel inspired and achieve more than they expect knowing that their voices can be heard by a large audience.