Wednesday, 22 November 2017

BACK AT SAINT PIUS X CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL!

I visited Saint Pius X Catholic High School today and met again the wonderful young people who we interviewed over a year ago for the Better Learners, Better Workers pilot with Rotherham Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

THE BLBW MADE IN BARNSLEY AMBASSADORS VISIT THE CUTLERS HALL!

Great to see the Year 9 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Barnsley' ambassadors at the Cutlers Hall this morning.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

THE BADGERS ARE MOVING THE GOAL POSTS!

I love this poem... Carol Ann Duffy tells us that all nature is in uproar, what with rule-bending ferrets, the fact-twisting skunks and the gun-jumping foxes... it explains a lot of things and makes as much sense as anything else at the moment!!
"Because the Badgers are moving the goalposts.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

BLBW AUTUMN TERM NEWSLETTER


I LOVE MATHS... BUT NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE SHARE THAT PASSION!

I have a had a great week working with some amazing young people who talked so positively about their interests and passions... social media, games, netball, gymnastics, kick boxing, swimming, reading. Sadly, as a maths teacher in the dim and distant past, no one talked about a passion for number! 

Friday, 17 November 2017

WORKWISE AND BLBW: WORKING TOGETHER!

I moved on to see John Barber at the OSL offices near Meadowhall. John, who heads up the Workwise team, and I have been working on the engineering strand of 'Made in Sheffield' and now 'Better Learners, Better Workers' since the programme started in 2011.

DARTON COLLEGE

I was at Darton College again this morning working with their new Year 9 'Better Learners, Better Workers' ambassadors. Dave Bond had organised the session for me to take them through the new BLBW materials.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

OUTWOOD GRANGE ACADEMIES TRUST

I moved on to Outwood Grange Academy in Wakefield for a meeting with Julie Slater. Julie is Chief Executive of Outwood Institute of Education (OIE), Executive Principal for Outwood Grange Academies Trust, and a National Leader of Education.

BLBW: MADE IN BARNSLEY!

 I was at The Dearne ALC again this morning with the steering group for the 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Barnsley' programme...

WINGFIELD ACADEMY!

I was at Wingfield Academy earlier this week to see some of the wonderful young people on the 'Better Learners, Better Workers' engineering programme and take them through the new BLBW materials...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

HOW TO BE RESILIENT!

RESILIENCE MATTERS!

There is a great difference between failing to achieve a result and the conclusion you draw about yourself. In Carol Dweck's book 'Mindset' she explains that those who stay down after a setback make a judgment that they have failed, not just that their attempt failed. On a small scale, being resilient enables us to raise our hand and risk "sounding stupid." On a bigger scale, it allows us to try something really hard whether or not we're sure we'll do well at it.

Monday, 13 November 2017

CHANGE NEEDED!

If we are really serious about building world class learning in this country we need to refocus, re-imagine and re-engineer.
We need to shift the focus away from knowledge to concepts, from subjects to disciplines, from content to skills, from teaching to learning!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

REMEMBER THAT FAITH, FAMILY AND FRIENDS MATTER MOST!

It is't fame or celebrity or money that is most important in my life... it's faith, friends and family. I saw an old friend last week and she reminded me that when it comes down to what really matters, faith, family and friends make life worth living!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

EAT CHOCOLATE AND DRINK RED WINE!

We know that research suggests that the keys to happiness are a good diet, exercise, sleep, sunlight, social interactions and fun and laughter. Nothing there I haven't been telling people for years, but my list would also include red wine and dark chocolate...

Friday, 10 November 2017

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS REPORT!

I was sent this wonderful Mind Gym report this week and I wish I had read it when I started my career because everyone should read it...

Thursday, 9 November 2017

DAN PINK ON THE ABILITIES THAT MATTER!

Drawing on research from around the advanced world, Daniel Pink, in his book 'A Whole New Mind', argues that everyone should be given opportunities to develop six fundamentally human abilities that are essential for professional success and personal fulfilment and reveals how to master them.

ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE WORKSHOPS!

My colleague Sarah Ward told me about another great day she spent with the Workwise team...

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

DOING THE RIGHT THING MATTERS!

Over the last forty years, working at all levels in education and business, I have learnt the hard way that knowledge rarely changes people's behaviour or their lives...

CHARACTER IS THE KEY!

Interestingly, people who work hard, persevere and have passion are more likely to be successful than those with high IQ or those who are simply conscientious. These qualities lie at the heart of the Cutlers' 'Better Learners, Better Workers' programme... 

WE NEED TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

We continue to sleepwalk into a future that requires brave, bold and creative solutions. We face problems wherever we look... productivity and investment are problems and Brexit is making everyone increasingly nervous. There isn't enough money and local authority services are increasingly under pressure, schools are facing increasing challenges and academisation clearly isn't the answer to life, the universe and everything!! Clearly we need to wake up and think differently...

Monday, 6 November 2017

BLBW 'WHAT EMPLOYERS WANT' CONFERENCE

John Barber and his Workwise colleagues organised another fantastic day over half-term for our Year 11 Cutlers' Engineering Ambassadors at the 'What Employers Want' Conference...
Great to see these young people being put through their paces by employer volunteers from Doncasters Bramah, Liberty Steel, Chimo Holdings and Cooper Brown Enterprises. These young people have come so far in the last 2 years and gave up a day's holiday to join John and the team at Jurys Inn.

BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH BLBW AT THE MAGNA SCIENCE CENTRE!

John Barber and his Workwise colleagues organised two fantastic days at the Magna Science Centre over the half-term break...
On the first day, Ken Cooke, the current Master Cutler, handed out 'Better Learners, Better Workers' badges to the new Year 9 students from Park Academy, Springs Academy, Mexborough Academy, Oakwood High School, Horizon Community College and The Dearne ALC. He also took one for himself which he said he will wear with pride.  On the second day Year 9 students came from from Penistone Grammar School, Darton College, Oakwood High School, King Edward VII School, Yewlands Academy, Stocksbridge High School and Don Valley Academy.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

ARE YOU SHARING, NETWORKING AND LEARNING?

We all need to share, network and learn. I am currently learning in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield but I am always happy to share. Alway happy to network. Always happy to help! You can contact me at chris@brilliant-learning.co.uk

OPEN BADGES ARE COMING TO BLBW!

Mozilla created Open Badges in 2011 with funding from the MacArthur Foundation and a network of partners committed to developing a new way to recognise learning wherever it happened – in and out of formal education and online. We are now exploring how Better Learners, Better Workers can further develop using Open Badges...

MAKE SURE YOU READ THE CITIES OF LEARNING REPORT!

More and more of us are living in cities and an interesting RSA report has just been published. It argues that Cities of Learning has the potential to unlock significant benefits for cities, learners, and employers...

BLBW: AN ENTITLEMENT FOR ALL!

The Better Learners, Better Workers programme is based on developing the key skills that employers, partners and research across the Sheffield City region, the country and the world have told us young people need to succeed at school, at work and in later life. 

Monday, 30 October 2017

THE SKILLS THAT MATTER!

OUR NEW SCHOOLS!

BLBW MOVES UP A GEAR!

 

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: BLBW RELEASING THE WOW FACTOR!

This year we are working with even more schools and employers and reaching even more young people across the Sheffield City Region. We now have programmes in 30 schools where we are training 500 Ambassadors and through our WOW Factor programme reaching over 6000 young people across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. We are continuing to deliver employer-led learning across six main employment sectors which are critical to the economic development of the Sheffield City Region: Arts & Culture, Construction, Digital, Emergency Services, Engineering and NHS/Healthcare.

NEW: BLBW AMBASSADOR HANDBOOK

We know that skills matter and that we need to help young people achieve these skills because they are the keys to success at school, at work and in life! Over the Summer we have rewritten all the BLBW materials and the new BLBW handbook is to help young people to develop a portfolio of evidence to show how they are developing the essential skills needed for success at school, college, university, and at work. As always, happy to share, network and learn so if you want to find out more please get in touch.

NEW: BLBW AMBASSADOR SKILLS BOOKLET!

We know that skills matter and that we need to help young people achieve these skills because they are the keys to success at school, at work and in life! Over the Summer we have rewritten all the BLBW materials and the new ambassador skills booklet shows young people what they need to do to achieve each level of the fifteen skills which make up the Better Learners, Better Workers skill set. Happy to share, network and learn so if you want to find out more please get in touch.

Friday, 27 October 2017

MY MEETING WITH SONIA!

I was in Sheffield this morning to have breakfast with my brilliant colleague and friend Sonia Sharp. Sonia and I worked together at Education Leeds where we established the foundations for brilliant learning and built something amazing... an organisation and culture that changed lives and won awards and accolades for everything it did!!! Sonia has been working in Australia where she has also been doing some extraordinary stuff! The breakfast meeting was great and it made me realise how much I miss her energy, passion and enthusiasm!! It also reminded me of that rare magic and incredible teamwork we had at Education Leeds... with so many amazing colleagues who have gone on to do so much in so many areas!! We are both passionate about young people, learning, skills and changing lives and the meeting reminded me, in case I ever forget, that the things that matter most in life are friends, family and faith! We agreed that we needed to stay in touch and continue to try to change the world for all our young people!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

BLBW:MiB YEAR 9 AMBASSADORS GET STARTED!

I started the day at the 'Better Learners, Better Workers; Made in Barnsley' Y9 Induction Session at the Priory Campus in Barnsley with my colleagues Sharon Swift, from Barnsley Healthcare Federation, and Sarah Ward, from Straaltechniek and the WorkWise Foundation.

FORMER STUDENT, JUSTINE GREENING, THE EDUCATION SECRETARY, OFFICIALLY OPENS OAKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL!

I was at Oakwood High School this morning, where Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education, was officially opening their fantastic new school building. Justine Greening MP was returning to her former Rotherham school to officially open its new building. Interestingly she is the first Education Secretary with a comprehensive school background!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

TO CREATE BETTER LEARNERS AND BETTER WORKERS... THINK TEAM!

If you read the McKinsey Report, analyse the PISA data and listen to people like Ken Robinson it is increasingly obvious that to prepare for the future, to compete on an international stage and to access the opportunities created by the knowledge based industries, we need to create learning pathways that ignite and inspire our children and young people to become brilliant learners and brilliant workers. 

AMAZING STUFF: 3D PRINTING?

Over the weekend I read that MX3D are going to 3D print a fully functional, intricate steel bridge in the centre of Amsterdam...

Saturday, 21 October 2017

NO ONE ACHIEVES ANYTHING ON THEIR OWN... TEAMWORK MATTERS!

In an increasingly complex world where colleagues, families, schools and businesses are facing relentless pressure, facing higher and higher expectations and facing increased and increasing demands to do things more efficiently and more effectively, we need to remember that teamwork matters!

WHATEVER YOU DO, SUCCESS CRITICALLY DEPENDS ON SHARING, NETWORKING AND LEARNING!

Friday, 20 October 2017

DARTON COLLEGE AND 'BETTER LEARNERS, BETTER WORKERS: MADE IN BARNSLEY' WORKING TOGETHER!

I was at Darton College again this morning... I was there to meet Dave Bond who had managed to get a group of Y9 students together, who were interested in finding out more about the 'Better Learners, Better Workers: Made in Barnsley' programme, after the introductory assembly Sarah Ward and I ran for the whole yeargroup. 

IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO CAN HELP US?

Better Learners, Better Workers (BLBW) is now working with 30 schools across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield... and importantly we are working with over 500 ambassadors in key employment sectors. We now need new funding to help us take Better Learners, Better Workers (BLBW) to the next stage...

BLBW GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH!

Better Learners, Better Workers (BLBW) has reached its targets as agreed with the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC)... we are now working with 30 schools across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield... and importantly we are working with over 500 ambassadors in key employment sectors... and we are constantly looking for ways to improve and further develop the programmes. As part of this development, our new materials... a new ambassador handbook, a new ambassador skills booklet... will be available next week.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

MEETING WITH EDGE FOUNDATION!

I had great meeting this morning with Olly Newton, Director of Policy and Research, at the Edge Foundation and my colleague Rob Walker from Sheffield City Council.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

FACT: OFSTED IS NOT A SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TOOL!!

If it was we would have a brilliant education system here in England since we are the most checked up on and observed school system on the planet... and the latest OECD/PISA evidence shows that we are still struggling to build brilliant teaching and learning. Clearly, we need to improve teaching and learning in every classroom and develop a coaching culture where practice and hard work builds success but 'you don't fatten the pig by constantly weighing it'!! 

WISE WORDS FROM THE CBI!

“Getting the next generation on the escalator to achieve their potential is one of the most exciting challenges we face. Businesses have traditionally focused on education at 14 plus, but it’s clear we need to tackle problems earlier, instead of applying a sticking plaster later on. We have some great teachers and average grades are rising, but we’ve been kidding ourselves about overall standards. By teaching to the test, too many young people’s individual needs are not being met, and they are being failed by the system. Government reforms are heading in the right direction, but are not sufficient on their own and must go further and faster. As well as academic rigour, we need schools to produce rounded and grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that businesses want.” 
John Cridland, CBI Director-General

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

THE AMAZING QUEENSFERRY CROSSING!

I was in Scotland over the weekend and visited South Queensferry where the new Queensferry Crossing has just been finished and what a feat of engineering it is. The new bridge, the Queensferry Crossing, is an amazing structure and opened on 30 August 2017. The 1.7 mile (2.7km) structure is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also by far the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span. 23,000 miles of cabling, 35,000 tonnes of steel and 150,000 tonnes of concrete were used to construct it. This innovative design provides extra strength and stiffness, allowing the towers and the deck to be more slender and elegant at a total cost of over £1.35 billion.