Getting Ahead is a series of interventions taking place outside of the school environment. It offers students the opportunity to tackle challenges and fears and develop a greater understanding of some of their self-imposed limitations. It is tailored to suit the needs of young people who may be introvert and struggle to integrate confidently with their peer group.
Beginning with a short residential at Towers OEC, students take part in a range of outdoor digital activities designed to improve communication with others, promoting teamwork, self-efficacy and problem solving. Along the way they face ever greater physical and mental challenges. They consider their reactions to negative events and how they might try to look at things in a more positive manner, culminating in designing an aspirational t-shirt complete with a pledge for facing future problems in a more constructive and positive mindset. These shirts are printed and presented to the students as a reminder of their experience and the promises made to themselves.
This day offers the students an opportunity to develop their social responsibility. The students are given a scenario that affects modern life and concerns and are told to create a public information film on their subject matter. These subjects include: Homelessness, Justice, Peer Pressure, Good Manners, Road Safety, eSafety and a Split Decision Scenario, the films created so far have been both engaging and impressive.
This day is an opportunity for the students to have a fun, out of school experience.
It is set around problem solving team challenges. The benefits within the content include:
Discovering the importance of accurate communication and coordination.
Challenges that promote self-efficacy.
Understanding problems and finding solutions under pressure.
Experiencing the importance of teamwork and their value within a team.
Finding practical solutions to problems.
Mental arithmetic and problem-solving.
Beginning in the Mayor’s Parlour, the students are greeted by the Mayor who explains his/her role within the Council and that of his/her elected colleagues. The Mayor then sets a challenge for the students to go out in teams onto the streets of Wolverhampton and ask the public for their opinions on local young people and what is needed in the city to help our young people flourish. The students then create a presentation around their findings which offers some of their own solutions to the issues raised. The presentations take place in the council chamber in front of a panel of invited judges who choose the most convincing and engaging team as the winners.
Created entirely to push the learners to their limits and beyond and witness the limits of their peers when faced with mental and physical challenges. We have seen students combating their fears and anxieties both from the very top of a high ropes course to taking just three steps up a ladder. When encouraged to go further than they feel comfortable and breaking through their self-imposed glass ceilings, the students experience the rush of success and achievement. This has proved to be one of the most popular days in the programme.