George Dixon Academy in Edgbaston were the hosts of our very first 4Schools event in the West Midlands, and wow did we start with a bang!
We delivered to over 600 pupils over 3 days, and George Dixon were kind enough to let us take over their timetable and assembly hall to run our assemblies and workshops, where we divided the workshops by year group.
On day one we got to work with the wonderful year 7 students who all took part in our “Have a Go” Creative Challenge, and let’s say they definitely understood the assignment when it came to the word ‘creative’!
"I loved being a part of the 4Schools workshop, it really inspired me'
Emma, Year 8
We had some super interesting ideas from the different groups taking part in the session which ranged from documentaries about students who were secret millionaires to documentaries about current, important issues such as climate change. It was clear that students were really enjoying having the time to explore their creative sides, but also to try out different industry job roles like that of a Production Manager and a Production Accountant. Some of the year 7 students taking part in our workshops were also a part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Parade so with that and Channel 4 being at their school – there was a real electric buzz in the atmosphere.
Day two saw the arrival of year 8 students to our “Understanding your skills” workshop. This workshop saw students compete in our super fun ‘People Bingo’ game, in which they had to talk to their classmates and use different skills in order to be the first to win a ‘full house’ (rewarded by chocolate of course!)
This was a great way to get everyone up and out of their seats, working together and talking to people outside of their friendship groups. The bingo game included all sorts of tasks that needed to be completed in order to win, such as: convincing a classmate to swap shoes, teaching a classmate a new dance move and even teaching a classmate a word or sentence in another language. The whole point of this exercise is to highlight how advantageous it can be to not only understand their own skills, but the skills of those around them and how being able to identify those skills can help them to succeed in their personal lives and the world of work.
On our third and final day we hosted the year 9 students in the main hall for a day of Q&A sessions with some very exciting panel members from Channel 4 including current apprentices at the beginning of their career, and some more experience employees. I think it’s safe to say that if the students weren’t absolutely fascinated by hearing what our panel had to say, I most definitely was! Caroline (a Senior Portfolio Manager) was particularly engaging; she works in a team who are responsible for investing in different production companies and helping them to grow. She had some great stories to tell about the making of some popular shows, including Peaky Blinders & The Great British Sewing Bee.
Students came up with great questions, including: “what skills are the most important in your job?” and “what challenges have you faced in getting to where you are today?”. They were fantastic, insightful sessions which I know were incredibly valuable to George Dixon and were a great way to close off our event.
After our time spent at George Dixon, we even made it into their student and parent newsletter - ‘The Dixonian’. It’s a fabulous article, beautifully written and captures the 4Schools experience in all its essence from a student’s perspective. Shining a light on why we do these workshops, and the inspirational benefits they are having on students!