The Careers Adviser at Holmer Green Senior School, Naomi Rogers, approached Partners With You in the middle of 2020 as she was involved in co-ordinating an Oracy programme for students in Years 9 and 10. The aim of the programme was to help develop the students’ self confidence in public speaking and presentation skills as well as in how they present themselves physically; with an understanding of how their own body language is perceived by those around them.
Sally Hindmarch (of Partners With You) had previously run a workshop on this topic for the school’s Sixth Form so Naomi approached her; she said “given we had a relationship with Partners With You and an understanding of how their work could benefit our teaching curriculum and students, they were the obvious first choice to approach”.
Despite being in the middle of a pandemic and unable to allow non-teaching staff onto the site, it was important to the school to be able to introduce externally-created materials and insight. Naomi continued “these bring an authority from the ‘real world’. It helps us deliver against our Gatsby benchmarks 2, 3 and 4 with the overall wider aim of preparing our students for life after school and the working world”.
Following several conversations between Sally and Naomi they agreed that an interactive workshop would work best for the students. Sally explained “We wanted to create something as close to our workshops as we could, despite the fact that we couldn’t be there.” They agreed on a video introducing the topic with opportunities for the teacher leading the session to run specific exercises and break for student discussion at given points.
“Along with the video, we created a teacher’s guide that could be literally picked up and used by a teacher with no knowledge of the content. It was important to us” Sally added, “that the video, teacher’s guide and student handout could be adapted and used across multiple year groups for the foreseeable future. The importance of understanding your impact on others and their perception of you will still be relevant for years to come.”
Partners With You drew upon existing materials they deliver which fitted the brief, but ultimately created a bespoke package for the school based on their specific requirements. Naomi continued “Not only did Partners With You work within our budget considerations, they demonstrated a real understanding of how schools work: that the workshop might be delivered to a varying number of students, of varying ages, and by different teachers who might not have been part of the original process. This meant they created tools which were flexible, easy to use, and the workshop material is as a result much more useful, and can be used across a wider range of situations.
Partners With You delivered an interactive video workshop with a teacher’s guide that walks them through how to run the exercises and a handout sheet that can be given to their students. It was designed in a way that allows the school to adapt it according to their students needs.
Naomi explained “We have now used the workshop with both Sixth Form students and the original target group, Year 9 and 10. The interactive nature of the activities works for our students, they have enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in the activities which were well-paced and engaging, rather than simply passively listening.
Working with Partners With You was a pleasure. Sally is proactive, considered and receptive to the needs of us as client. She has a real can-do attitude and we are very pleased with the end result.”
Video created by Fearless Video