From Berkshire to Leicester to Bradford and to Tottenham

Not the football teams but all the places I’ve been in the past 2 weeks, (actually I don’t think there is a Berkshire FC). Anyway, it’s been a busy time and I’m glad to say a largely fulfilling and productive time.

I was in Berkshire for two days of staff development for The Challenge of Excellence, hard work, but loads achieved, including an in-depth exploration of Type Dynamics Indicators (more to come on this another time), and we even got time to play a very silly game of football in a cowpat infested field with Tony Woodcock himself, now that’s a strange place to have a kick about with an ex-England and Arsenal striker.

My trip up to Leicester was also very well worthwhile and productive, and I’m glad to say that FPM have now asked me to co-train on a Fire and Rescue service course, training managers to deliver training to and working with young people, it’s not until January, but it could or should lead to much more work.

Onto Bradford for a two day conflict resolution course in Buttershaw Business and Enterprise school.  Another new build and a totally different atmosphere to The London Academy (see ‘New Building, Old Ideas?’); positive, inspirational quotes all over the school, light and airy spaces, lots of evidence of learning and community involvement, and a visible student council as well.  The course was challenging on the 1st day, there was clearly a few year 9 students that had no real interest in being there, and over the course of the day 4 of them ‘opted-out’, leaving day two to run smoothly, with a great group of engaged, vocal young people.  This course is just the first stage of setting up an inclusive peer mediation service in the school, and of the 15 students we finished the course with 10 of them put their names down to be considered as volunteers, a great job.

Earlier this week I was at Tottenham Hotspurs FC delivering an advanced learning techniques course to year 11 students.  The main thrust of the course was,  issues to consider and how to approach learning in order to get an A*/A grade, focusing a lot on Blooms Taxonomy of learning and how that relates to the marking processes for examinations boards.

All the young people were from Ravenscroft school and had a poor experience on the previous workshop they attended, as far as I can understand there were some behavioural issues that the trainer was unable to handle.  I must admit to having some pre-conceived expectations of them, especially as they turned up over an hour late.  Also, they were supposed to be ‘Gifted and Talented’ pupils to qualify to attend the workshop, but it seems that many, if not all of them weren’t.  However I had a great time and I’d estimate that 80% of the participants were engaged for over 80% of the time, (not a bad bench mark I think), and despite not being G&T the materials were nevertheless useful for them and hopefully they now feel more tooled up to get the highest grades they can, and to re-think their Further and Higher education aims.

I’m delivering the same course tomorrow in Ealing, so I better go and prepare.

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