Oliver Beach from Central Foundation Boys School, recognising the importance of giving students access to a range of different role models to inspire them and help them make informed educational or career choices created his first event last autumn.
The first event:
- Had a big impact on the students who referenced what they had heard a lot following the event
- Provided real life links to what they were being taught in the classroom
- The students think differently about their career options as they are now aware of what is out there
He has been creating one event per term since…
Interview with Oliver Beach from Central London Foundation Boys School
How did you first hear about Founders4Schools (F4S)?
During my summer internship, my Teachfirst mentor told me about F4S so I looked at the site (www.Founders4Schools.org.uk) and booked my first event – I wanted to create an impactful event that grabbed attention.
What made you decide to use the Founders4Schools service?
I feel it’s important that students have access to a range of different role models. I want my students to have a connection with the ‘outside world’ and provide them with first hand accounts of people who do different jobs in different sectors. Hopefully this will help them be better informed when approaching their choices – whether it be educational or career choices.
What have the benefits been for you & your students?
Alicia Navarro spoke at the first event we held. She is a passionate tech entrepreneur and CEO/Founder of Skimlinks which is a leading content monetisation service for online publishers. She really inspired the children as she had a lot of experience with trying things out and moving on to different things – something that students could relate to in the sense of perseverance and moving on if things initially don’t succeed or work out as you hoped. They referenced her story a lot and linked it to what they were learning in their business studies.
At the second event they liked Dan Quine, CTO of Songkick because he was very humble about the things that he had done even though his projects were pretty big (He had worked closely with Steve Jobs while leading the team that created QuickTime and worked with the founders of Google amongst other things). Dan is keen to help prepare students for their careers – we’ve stayed in contact and are putting together one to one sessions.
What was the process of creating an event like, was it easy?
It was a piece of cake! I really like being able to browse and choose the business founders I think are best for my students. The system is simple to use and keeps me informed when my invites have been accepted.
What surprised you the most from the event?
The calibre of speakers was outstanding. For example, Dan Quine from Songkick used to work with previous Apple CEO Steve Jobs. This really chimed with students as someone many of them are familiar with and Apple is a household name. Dan helped inspire confidence and had a very ‘you can do this’ approach – it’s all about raising aspirations and telling the children ‘they can’ if they put their mind to it.
Do you think the students who hear from founders think differently about their future or what GCSE / A levels choices they take?
They think differently about their future career choices in the sense that it expands their view of what options are out there. They also get a sense of what it takes to do certain jobs or run your own company. Some of my students are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and we’ve had speakers from similar backgrounds who students have really related to. Those founders have demonstrated that through hard work they have become successful in what they do which has been incredibly motivating.
Why would you recommend other teachers/schools to try F4S?
It is a great programme that has a big impact on the students, and lightens the teacher workload a little.