5 essential insights into student futures

Innovate My School

Innovate My School specialises in supplying school leaders and teachers with the latest and greatest in education. From exciting new products and services to alternative teaching and learning practices, we empower educators to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead proactively and, most importantly, feel inspired. To write for Innovate My School, or to organise a free event for your school cluster or network, contact [email protected]

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Image credit: Flickr // Find a Future. Image credit: Flickr // Find a Future.

How best to prepare students for the shrouded world ahead of them? Here, we present a few of the insights put forward in the Innovate My School Guide 2017/18...

1) Skills-building through project-based learning (PBL) - Dylan McCarthy, deputy headteacher and founder of Stepping into Business

As a teacher, your first foray into PBL can be quite daunting, as it involves letting go of the reins, a thought many of us find unfathomable. But holding onto the reins tightly doesn’t allow learners to take control or to make the same level of mistakes, mistakes which enhance and retain learning for longer periods of time. Many sports coaches make great PBL instructors/facilitators as they are used to the coaching role of stepping back, observing, recognising potential pitfalls and interjecting at the point of need. This would typically be immediately after something has gone wrong; encouraging reflection within the team on lessons learnt and how to proceed or whether the problem needs to be approached from a new angle. These are skills that can be built on over years to ready learners for their post-education lives.

2) Essential entrepreneurial know-how - Julian Hall, founder and CEO of Ultra Education

While I believe any school promoting some form of entrepreneurship activity should be commended, much more needs to be done if we want to give students the best chance of success after they leave school or university. In short, I believe we need to change the curriculum so that all students across the country have the opportunity learn basic entrepreneurial skills, not just the best and the brightest pupils who are lucky enough to be in a particular school. After all, the disengaged pupil at the back of the classroom could be the most likely to be tomorrow’s next big thing.

3) Paving the way - Jim Burton, CEO of CASCAID

As we educate our students to achieve their academic potential, how do we also ensure they leave equipped with the right skills to manage their career and deliver the best outcomes for their futures? Critical to this is their ability to understand the paths that are both available to and suitable for them, and subsequently to help them with creating aspirations. Giving students the support to create their own plans and dreams creates a sense of purpose in their studies.

4) Speaking their language - Mark Herbert, head of Schools Programmes at the British Council

Employers are crying out for more language skills in the workforce, as well as the associated intercultural skills that speaking another language brings - and in all likelihood, this is something that will only increase as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. For many companies, an engineer or scientist who also speaks another language - Spanish, German or Mandarin for example - is automatically a more attractive employee than someone who can only speak English.

5) Getting branded - Action Jackson, director at Fixup Seminars

Students should look at various habits that could affect their reputation, such as lateness and lack of organisation. By building their day-to-day habits, they’re planning for a better brand. A simple task will be to build an ideal morning, creating habits that would help them become that first-class brand that they want. Things like an ideal wake-up time, music they listen to, what they eat, the type of workout they do. All of these activities help to build the right mindset.

Read the full Innovate My School Guide 2017/18 at www.innovatemyschool.com/guides.

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