Focussing on what will make the difference
It is inevitable that Inspire2Learn has ended up at Schools North East’s Future Ready Conference. The number of events and initiatives that we have set up for the coming year very firmly set out our stall as ensuring that employability skills and attitudes. Already this morning we have spoken to a number of schools who are a) surprised at what a quality offer we have for any school to get involved with and b) that most of it we don’t need to charge for.
I advertised the Inspiring Girls event to schools on Tuesday. We are nearly fully booked. That speaks volumes. I am told time and again that the events that we create are brilliant and really needed…..so why are we the only people running them? Well we aren’t. I support other organisations on a regular basis with their events, either with feet on the ground or through awareness raising to a schools. And that seems to be the problem. Schools are barraged by the number of possible events and organisations that they can be involved with. But time is precious and even when they are aware, how do they know what to pick?
And I think that is where we come in. We are in the unique position of being a service and a top quality venue. When an organisation wants to run an event for schools, even an awareness meeting, we can convene it. Who would they go to otherwise and how would that happen? It also works both ways. I could have gone round companies knocking on doors saying ‘I want to run a day inspiring girls with influential and charismatic speakers’ but only when I got some support would I then have to go looking for a venue, and funding for it and so on. I was able to work the other way round for the event on 8th March and it has resulted in such an uptake in a handful of days.
So the Scrapheap challenge days, the career days for year 5s, the inspiration events and several more about to be announced could NOT have happened without the centre as allure for the people and the external funding we have managed to attract.
We continue to support the curriculum of course, convening expert courses and events (we are the launch venue for the new website for the Museums in the Tees Valley next week) as well as external provider events that schools buy in. We continue to host school led events (we have 45 revision students in today ahead of a much bigger maths event in a few weeks) and in between working in a growing number of classrooms we still run our own courses and events aimed at the curriculum. However, we increasingly see that purely passing the exams at the end of the curriculum is barely 25% of what our children will need to be successful in the world of work. The framework that has been mentioned in posts passim is a great starting point that gives schools a clear set of terms to embed into the language of the classroom that gives a focus to these important skills and attitudes.
As Dr Tom Harrison is given a round of applause for his talk about character education and its impact on life chances, I am reassured that what we are able to provide is very much an important ingredient in the recipe that is a child’s years in education.