Posts Tagged ‘Mentoring’

A fancy name for helping out

Posted on: February 4th, 2019 by thisishel No Comments

This is the second time we’ve been asked to help out by Ahead Partnership and after our last experience we jumped at the chance. Not only does it get you out of the studio and into the real world but it can be very rewarding as well.

The last time I went back to a school I was judge, sat behind a desk, in a position of authority. This time it was as a mentor, working one to one with students who were not getting the grades they should be getting. I feel I can talk from a position of knowledge here as this was most certainly me when I was younger.

In all I mentored two young students coming up to their GCSE’s who were both falling short for very different reasons.

One was simply too smart. She’d fallen into the trap of thinking she could do it without trying. A few frank conversations later and we had a plan. She went home, promptly made a new plan, and nailed her exams. Obviously I’m taking all the credit here, even if none of it is actually due to me. (She later confessed that she discovered all she really needs is some pressure. I am convinced she will make a fabulous doctor)

My second student was tougher, but knew what he wanted to do. We simply focused on the things that mattered and relaxed on the things that didn’t. (We also had a revision plan that involved playing FIFA which alarmed some of the more conservative teachers)

In the end I’m glad to say the last time I met them they were both very positive and their mock results had improved! Again I’m taking all the credit but don’t really deserve it at all. Sometimes it appears just speaking to a new person with a new perspective can help you. Something I have since adopted to try to make myself a little better.

Alex Berry
Digital Strategy & Design

Ahead Partnership

Me? A judge? In a college? Why not?

Posted on: November 4th, 2018 by thisishel No Comments

I was recently invited to be a judge for the Premier Farnell Tech Challenge and had the pleasure of going back to my old school as well as my old college to help decide a winner. It’s always a pleasure to be asked by Ahead Partnership as I really believe they do good work.

The challenge was simple – to design and write software for Farnell’s famous Rasberry Pi which would make a disabled persons life easier. Not an easy brief.

First of all – I surprised how little my school had changed. It’s been twenty years since I sat in the same classroom, building a small wooden box which I’m sure my mother still has somewhere! It might have still have the same chairs – but the computers and most especially the circuit board printer are definitely new.

Second – I was surprised how much Bradford College had changed. The brand new, state of the art technology hub can only be a good thing for Bradford.

The third, and final surprise, was not that the students where engaged with this – I’ve done enough work with schools and colleges to know they would be – but that the quality of the work would be so high! From voice activated plant diaries to help dementia suffering gardeners (this could be my grandad – he would have loved it) through to automated dog feeders and even a vest that would let you play football blind I was thoroughly impressed. And is wasn’t just ideas – these things actually worked.

Anyway – I shall watch the final with baited breath and more than a little pride.

Alex Berry
Digital Strategy & Design

Ahead Partnership

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