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Life Skills

Life Skills at Finborough School

The ground-breaking life skills programme is run for our Year 10 pupils at the end of the school year.  The idea behind it is simple: we want to develop skills and instil confidence and self-belief in our pupils, to provide them with a competitive advantage when they leave Finborough.

We all know that our children will be facing an increasingly competitive world.  Our pupils will no longer be able to rely just on their qualifications; employers are looking for more than this. The life skills programme helps pupils to understand how to approach an interview; the power of making the right first impression; and the art of communication, alongside personal self-discipline and leadership skills.

What would it be like if we understood what employers are looking for, the power of first impressions and the art of presenting and communicating before we left school?

Would you be interested in learning the tools and techniques that could help you influence others at those crucial times, such as at job interviews and meetings?

At Finborough, we run a groundbreaking and bespoke life skills programme for our Year 10 pupils. The aim is simple to understand and develop yourself more, and to be able to positively influence others. If I could persuade the Minister for Education, one of the subjects I would put on the curriculum is the art of effective listening. This is one of the ways rapport is built and, without rapport, you are unlikely to influence a person or a situation positively. The life skills programme also looks at communicating with others and why, when the same words are used, different meanings can be interpreted.

Over two days at the end of the summer term, Year 10 pupils will consider these issues, and many more, in depth. For example, we run a ‘speed-interviewing’ session: Finborough’s unique take on ‘speed-dating’. Each person is applying for the same job, and in a very life-like, crucial, thirty seconds (the same time it takes most employers to form an opinion of you) a first impression has been formed. To be successful you must be confident, you will learn the benefits of a firm handshake, good eye contact, positive body language and an appropriate tone of voice.

Making the Right First Impression

To quote the famous saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  How true this is!  This session  helps us to think about the impression we want to make on people, whether that is when making friends, becoming acquainted with strangers, at a job interview or with new teachers.

We all know that, rightly or wrongly, people make judgements based on first impressions.  It is very difficult to change a first impression and takes a long time, and there are some situations, such as at job interviews, where we don’t have that luxury.  We will look at areas such as appearance, body language, tone of voice and eye contact.  Understanding the importance of these factors will go a long way to improving our chances of success in the real world.

Presentation Skills

Now ask yourself; when we think about influential people what traits do they all seem to have? What kind of behaviour do they exhibit? Why do they influence us? It is not just what people say but how they say it that influences us.

At some point in life we all have to present to someone.  Learning the tools of effective presentations skills is so important and not something we usually get help with until we are employed!  This session provides a focus on communication skills, verbal and non verbal, how to organise ourselves for a presentation, how to to build a rapport with an audience and ultimately choosing the most appropriate way to get the message across. During the day you will have practical experience of presenting to an audience.

What Are Employers Looking For?

So did you know most employers will ‘google’ you before offering you a job?

Do you realise your social media footprint could effect your chances of success at interview?

Why is it important to network and volunteer?

All these questions and more are explored during this session.  You will be equipped with the knowledge: it is then down to you to put it into practice!

The two days finish with a fun interactive session where personal leadership skills are put to the test alongside resilience and problem solving skills….you will have to wait to find out more!

A Quote from a Life Skills Participant Parent

“I can honestly say that when I collected my son yesterday I have never, (honestly never) heard him so positive about a “school” experience.  He was so excited to tell me about some of the experiences and in his own words “it was really helpful and interesting”. 

Of all the trips and other experiences that he’s participated in school during the last 10 years he’s never been so positive about something as much as this.  He was thrilled to know that his hope of a certain job field was backed up with the Morrisby questionnaire but was just as gushing about the interview discussions with your visiting guests.

I’m sure there’s more to come over the next few days as, those that know him well, will appreciate that I won’t’ get all the information at once and that over the course of this week he will reveal more to me.

I asked him this morning if he was happy for me to send a thank and he said “definitely” and I asked him what was the number one thing that was most useful and his reply was “I now know how to cope with my nerves in difficult situations”.

Well done, what a very useful experience and thank you very much for all the planning etc that goes into workshops such as these, he has very clearly hugely benefited from it.”