Career direction

It’s best to know where you’re going – and why Some years ago I was working in a school running a Self Managed Learning project. In the group with which I was working there was a talented 13-year-old girl musician. She said that she would like to have a career as an orchestra musician. We looked at the life of an orchestra musician and also looked at some research on job satisfaction. The results of the research showed that orchestra musicians had a level of job satisfaction on a par with that of a prison warder. The reasons for orchestra […]

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Taking the long view

Once upon a time there was a boy in Bolton with no interest in his schoolwork. He tended to spend time with his mates or watched comedy VHS tapes that he had recorded. He gained one GCSE then after school did a series of seemingly dead-end jobs such as in the bingo hall and at the local cinema. Because he enjoyed cracking jokes and fooling around he started to do some stand-up comedy gigs in local pubs. Eventually he developed a comedy stand-up act. He was officially entered in the Guinness World Records book for the planet’s biggest-selling stand-up tour. […]

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Gaining an Arts award at SML College

At SML College we provide the facility for students to achieve an Arts Award, set up by the Arts Council to provide a route for young people to develop their creative and leadership skills and gain GCSE and AS level equivalent qualifications in the arts.  To achieve their Arts Award, students take on various challenges in an art form of their choice and create a portfolio of work with the support of an Arts Award adviser, who acts as assessor, facilitator and mentor. We provide the facility for our students to gain an Arts Award at Bronze or Silver level. Bronze […]

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What is a parents’ role in education?

What is a parents’ role in education?

Much has been written about how important parents are to a child’s education, but often the advice is not all that helpful. Here are a few thoughts on the what, how, when, where and why of education that parents might consider.   WHAT. The press and the education establishment go on about GCSEs, grades, exams and so on as the most important areas for parents to assist their children. A recent research report suggested that children doing Saturday jobs could get lower grades at GCSE. What the report did not mention is that if school students want to learn about […]

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GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

SIZE MATTERS The transition from a small primary school into secondary education is an issue for many parents. There are serious choices to be made for children at this age. We know that many children feel nervous about going into a large, more impersonal school where they do not feel known by teachers. In a typical secondary school a teacher might see over 250 children in a week and cannot get to know all of them really well. In addition the national data show that schools are getting larger year by year. This issue of size is serious. The research […]

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Charley’s art workshop

Charley’s art workshop

  Last Thursday Charley came into SMLC to give an Art workshop on dreams and nightmares. She started by giving us lots of magazines and scissors. Then she told us what ever picture that looked interesting to us to cut them out and put them on a black background. We could make what ever would be in our dreams or nightmares. I made a picture about evolution. It was about how we came from a fish to animals and a picture of every animal I could find. I was quite happy about how it all came together. I think Charley […]

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How young people manage their own learning at SML College

Take yourself back to your schooldays. Did you learn everything that you were taught? Or did you sometimes daydream in class? Perhaps there were subjects that you didn’t like so you paid less attention to them – or you were even disruptive in such lessons. For whatever reason, it’s likely that the teacher ‘covering the syllabus’ did not always result in you learning everything that they wanted you to. We know that people – of all ages – like to learn in different ways. My favourite teacher in my traditional boys grammar school was the geography teacher. Because he never […]

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A better way to educate

Self Managed Learning College is part of a global movement bringing traditional 19th century education into the 21st century by paying attention to solid evidence of better ways of educating young people. The case I will make here is that the role of adults and of schools should be to support young people in taking charge of their own lives and, centrally, of their own learning. I will mention a few examples of solid evidence about learning before indicating how to respond to this evidence. Evidence All young people are different. Specifically all the research shows that people (young and […]

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WHAT IS A 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION?

Some people have suggested that the only change from Victorian schools to those of today is from black to white – blackboards have changed to whiteboards. We still have classrooms that are not much different from the 19th century with curricula that have progressed little since then and with lessons of standardised times delivered in (increasingly) large institutions. Indeed there is an argument to suggest that the school is possibly the only institution that would be recognisable to a Victorian who might be transported to the current time. Factories now have robots and offices don’t have clerks working in serried […]

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Self Managed Learning with organisations

The Centre for Self Managed Learning was established originally to take forward the approach with organisations. It was only 15 years ago that we started work with young people. The Centre and its sister social enterprise company, Strategic Developments International, continue to further the SML approach and are regularly in demand to run programmes. We like readers to be aware that this work with young people is based on almost 40 years of significant experience and research with thousands of leaders and managers throughout the world. Our work continues currently with providing senior leadership development for organisations as diverse as […]

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