Schoolhouse of the month: Shaw Education

Author: Sophia Aker, programme coordinator

We are lucky to work with some of the most creative and ingenious teachers you can find. Here, you'll discover the amazing work that our Schoolhouse do. Each month we'll be featuring one of our Schoolhouses, so you can learn more about this amazing community of schools and colleges. 

Our next schoolhouse is the wonderful Shaw Education. In their very first year as Schoolhouse, lead teacher James is already in full swing delivering workshop and has delivered to over 100 students already! Learn more about Shaw Education today!

1) How long have you been a DSH?

We became a DSH in 2021

2) What video game/ game are you currently enjoying?

Currently playing Forza Horizon 5 on the Xbox, as its great to roam/hurtle across the Mexican countryside with friends .Although you never find DOTA or Football Manager far from my fingers on the PC!

3) What do you love about being a teacher?

The ability to make a difference. It probably sounds corny, but I’ve worked in a lot of disadvantaged areas over the years and seeing a kid who supposedly was ‘unteachable’ achieve something is the best feeling. I had one student who was literally pushed into my classroom from Engineering as he was ‘incapable of doing anything with his hands’…….. he’s now an animator at Pixar.

4) Favourite light-bulb or creative moment as teacher?

There was a time I was teaching Business BTEC and the ‘International Business’ module. The class just wasn’t getting how countries interact and work with each other, so I took some inspiration from murder mystery ‘dinner games’ and speed dating to create an activity. Each person became an ambassador for a country working on an EU resolution, they each got an info sheet and had to either work to get the resolution passed or rejected. They had things to negotiate (or bribe/threaten) with, and could work with anything they had in the sheet. What made it brilliant was that the quiet kid basically got his way because no-one believed he could be that manipulative and had everyone so tied up in knots over each other that he achieved his outcome and no-one else did. The module in the end finished with a 100% Distinction rate, which is not seen often.

5) What are you most looking forward to this year as a Schoolhouse?

I’m enjoying developing the links between maths and computing, while showing the primary school kids that it can actually be fun and not just ‘boring maths and coding’. I always say you’re not teaching kids your subject, you’re selling them your enthusiasm so they will go and learn themselves.


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