Lynne Henderson demonstrating when it is time for us to add the next application of sunscreen… when it itches!

Creating the Future with Lynne Henderson and Angharad Holloway

We had two impactful keynote speakers on a glorious May morning at the Dudsbury.  Firstly, Lynne Henderson (who received a wonderfully rousing welcome) helped us protect our future by looking after the skin we’ll be walking to meet it in!  Secondly, Angharad Holloway shared her vision for a business-friendly curriculum fit for 2050.

 

Beauty is Skin Deep – so let’s look after our skin!

It’s National Sun-Awareness Week!  Lynne has been such a loyal and dynamic member of The Boardroom Network and Elite Business Women Clubs for so long that I’m sure every member knows and appreciates her.  What you’re unlikely to appreciate is the depth of her knowledge and the breadth of her experience.

Here’s a snippet from Lynne’s skincare presentation.

At our event, Lynne added massive value by delivering simple and practical tips to preclude you and me becoming another statistic of skin cancer.

Everybody is affected by Sun-damage to their skin.  Last year, 35% of the UK population was seriously burned at least once.  28% were burned three times!  Dorset has the highest rate of skin cancer.  This is not a first place position we are proud of.

To help counter this worrying statistic, Lynne gave us some hints and tips on how to use SPF effectively – making it clear that we need a lotion that protects against both UVB and UVA rays.  The fact is that 95% of the Sun’s rays get through the clouds – delivering UVA, which are the cancer-causing rays.

The challenge was issued, “Who’s put on SPF* this morning?”  Thankfully, a couple of wise folks in the audience were already sensible about their skin-protection-regime, but most of us were in dire need of hearing this recommendation.

[*Sun Protection Factor]

Here’s the rule then: the higher you go with the SPF rating number, the better protection you’ve got.  Remember, though, it’s not a magic potion – you have to reapply it because it doesn’t last all day.

Lynne’s easy to apply maths works like this:  If you wear SPF 15 – and then discover it takes 10 minutes for your skin to tingle, you’d have the equivalent of 15 x 10 minutes’ worth of protection (150 minutes or two and a half hours’ cover before you have to reapply.)

 

The Golden Rule for young and old alike: If it tingles – put cream on it!  Pop back to your beach-bag and get a top up!

If you need any advice on any skin-related topic (or are just curious about Lynne’s parting reference to her patchwork skin) contact Lynne.

The Future of Education

Jay Rachet, MC, then introduced Angharad Holloway, Head of Talbot Heath School.

“My business is education – but my business impacts directly on our yours in terms of the skillsets of young people, in terms of their knowledge, but also the growth of your companies – if you are not able to employ people who meet your needs, then businesses are going to struggle.”

 

Angharad was asked, “Can you devise an educational model for 2050 – how we should be educating young people for the future?”  She rose to the challenge with the practical outworking of her research and development going ‘live’ from Septemeber.  Here’s the backstory.

The current UK model has an unhealthy emphasis on rote-learning, and relentless testing.  In fact, one of the key designers of the current curriculum said, “I want every child in the UK to receive the same education that I received.” That ‘same education’ was in the 1950s – not fit for the 2050s – and sitting at a desk with paper books certainly won’t prepare our young people for the future.

We need to educate in a different way.  The skillsets required mean that our young people need to be adaptable, resilient, flexible, problem-solving, digitally proficient yet creative.

Human flair and inventiveness must be mixed in with the undoubted advantages that technological innovation brings us.  As Angharad says, our young people must learn to practice thinking creatively outside the box.

What are we actually going to teach them?

From the age of three, the team at Talbot Heath are teaching all their pupils “Material Science.”  This poses and then encourages the young people to answer these key questions:

  • How are things made?
  • Is it production process sustainable?
  • Is our production profitable?

The 1950s did not have the subject opportunities we now enjoy, and certainly didn’t have the topics that we’ll need to face the 2050s, one hundred years on.  For example, we need to understand AI and to understand Systems.

To meet this need, the Talbot Heath Teaching Team are already teaching them all Design Thinking – beginning with three and four-year-olds.

Here are some examples of the challenges posed:

Goldilocks – how could the three bears have prevented Goldilocks breaking the furniture?

Jack and the Beanstalk – how could Jack have got twice as many eggs down the beanstalk in half the time?

And the solution I liked most: Billy Goats Gruff – the students avoided the Troll completely – by quicky building a pontoon bridge!  Sometimes, it seems, it is better to skirt around the issue completely!

Interdisciplinary Teaching

The days of the “Specialist” are gone.  Subject specialisms and having a narrow career focus is insufficient for the future we are now inheriting.  We need to work in Interdisciplinary teams. Thus at Talbot Heath, the pupils are taught in an interdisciplinary way.  For example, history includes building trebuchets, and then catapulting soft toys at a defensive arrangement of… seven year olds!

Unless we adopt a new curriculum and new methods of teaching, we will not be able to address a major problem facing Education in the UK.  So many teachers and students have lost that ‘spark’, and lost their enthusiasm.  With the Brave New World we are all heading into – we must reignite the ‘spark’ and fan it into a bright and fiercely burning flame so that we may embrace the challenge of the future.

We must keep that intellectual curiosity going that is naturally part of our makeup but that is crushed by a curriculum ill-suited to the requirements of our age.  The UK has such an excellent reputation for brilliance in terms of inventiveness.  Let’s build on this heritage of great creative thinkers and world-changing innovations.

The current system financially awards Maths and English but has stuck art, drama, design technology in Bucket Three where there is very little funding.  Art and drama departments are being closed.  This is a huge mistake.

Why?  It’s a mistake because it is interdisciplinary thinkers who are the ones who will lead the field – barristers who love to dance, physicists who love to paint, biologists who adore designing intelligently!

Practical Contribution to the Community

The new building at Talbot Heath School is in itself interdisciplinary.  There are no walls – they are all flexible – a metaphor for the lack of barriers to thinking and education that the school’s “Think Big” motto embodies.  It is possible to project on the windows outside, on the walls inside, even on the floors.  This is access to Virtual reality and even Holograms.

From the earliest possible age, students become masters of digital technology. For example, 11 year-olds are using CAD to design their own buildings.  They are then able to ‘walk’ around their own designed buildings using VR headsets – and move on to make design improvements as a result of that virtual experience and feedback.

More than this, the curriculum is using collaborative learning to create citizens who will have an ethically-literate impact on our communities, our businesses, and our nation.  Yes, from the age of three, the pupils are taught Ethics.

This means that students will not only be able to harness the entrepreneurial potential of new technologies, they will also be able to think through the consequences of those very same new technologies.

The most exciting news for local businesses is that the new building and the curriculum are going to be open to the community.  “Come and use our facilities.!” is the clear message… and it’s happening from September.

“We’re very proud to be driving change… You’ve got to stand up and be counted.”

As Angharad concluded, people are coming to Talbot Heath School already… which is putting Bournemouth on the map with a radical new model of education.  Hopefully, we shall collaboratively bring about change for the good.

This is great news for you and me – that we too can play a part in creating this better, brighter, and (thinking) bigger future.