Breakthrough Conference for Boys

Corporate Music Development was asked by both Coventry City Council and Birmingham City Council to a deliver team building program for 60 boys who had been on the National Education Breakthrough program.

“We were delighted to be asked back and bring our expertise to the forefront of education on such an important program.” says Steven Sammut. The program was Raising Boys’ Achievement in Secondary Schools. The National Education Breakthrough Program is the result of a partnership between The Innovation Unit and The Improvement Foundation.

Team Building

Breakthrough’s goal was to raise the level of boys’ achievement within participating secondary schools, without reducing that of girls, by changing the organisational systems of learning and teaching in order to maximize the potential of all pupils, staff and schools. At the same time, it helped people develop a set of practical, transferable skills in quality improvement that they can use in any area of their work.

The first event was held at Warwick University Coventry on the 18th April 2008.This was then followed up on the 18th June at the Birmingham City Football club for another 10 schools. Both events where extremely successful and we look to support this event further into 2009.

Committed leadership and a school environment that empowers people to drive forward improvement are crucial for developing and sustaining change. Getting the basics right (eg how people speak to each other, how communal areas look and feel) is as important as developing a culture of attainment.

For more information on this project please click the Guardian article here

Breakthrough Conference Testimonial

"May I offer my sincere thanks for your contribution to the Birmingham Boys Breakthrough Conference held at St. Andrews, Birmingham City FC ground on 18th June.  As you know, the conference was attended by 150 year 9 boys from schools across the authority and involved a range of motivational and challenging workshops for the boys to participate in, along with key note speakers.  The boys were targeted by their schools to be involved in the National Education Breakthrough Programme because of identified underachievement and low motivation. 

Your music team building workshop for the boys was a great success as witnessed and commented upon by many of the teachers and LA officers present throughout the day.  You may be particularly pleased to note that, at the end of the conference we asked the boys a range of questions using voting handsets (as used on TV quiz shows such as ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’) and one of the questions we asked them to vote on was which workshop they had enjoyed the most during the day.  Your music workshop came top!

Within the context of the conference, you and your team addressed the learning needs of the boys sensitively, but with great enthusiasm and encouragement.  This meant that boys, many of whom may not work co-operatively within a group environment in school, were willing to actively participate in the workshops and share their ideas and thoughts with others as well as taking away new practical skills. 

Thank you once again.  I have recommended to Lorin Campbell, the director of the National Education Breakthrough Programme that she invites you to lead a workshop for teachers at one of the national conferences that are offered to the schools participating in the programme each term, and I would have no hesitation in recommending your workshop to schools as a motivational tool for pupils and staff alike."

Hayley McDonagh
Senior Adviser, School Effectiveness
Birmingham Advisory and Support Service

Birmingham Council