Our school engagement work is about helping young people to develop the skills they need to enter the modern digital workplace.
We aim to introduce an independent and entrepreneurial approach to learning as a way of challenging students to think differently and find digital solutions using information and communications technology (ICT), business practices and people skills, all of which are in demand from employers today.
The approach we take is about empowering these students by giving them the opportunity to explore modern tools and business-related subjects in exciting new ways that gives them a taste of the world of work.
Through their participation, these young people can discover their employment skills and develop relationships with the local contacts that are part of our programme. Overall, this has the potential to lead to unique career prospects and a rewarding head-start in the tech and digital service marketplace.
In conjunction with our work on Coding Clubs and with local enterprise initiatives, our school engagement programme is constantly evolving to connect all three areas of work as new educational and business partners join the CloudyGroup community-driven, industry-led initiative.
Our school engagement programme works in the following two ways:
Providing a unique opportunity for Key Stage 4 students to try the latest Microsoft tools and tech, this programme gives students a practical education in team-work, organisation and business skills that you cannot learn from traditional academia and reading books.
The entire year group competes against each other in an App building challenge in teams of 10.
Using Microsoft applications and new business concepts, we encourage hands-on learning by putting students’ new-found knowledge and skills to the test.
The competition pits the teams against each other in a race against the clock to deliver the team’s project.
Students’ critical thinking, time-management and collaboration is challenged as teams must negotiate the business requirements for marketing, designing and developing an App proof of concept.
Coordinating with education partners and local businesses, we support your school to implement the App-Prentice Challenge so that it works with your school curriculum and the available teaching resources.
The competitive nature of the Challenge means that all students’ outstanding achievements are recognised. All students are encouraged to celebrate their new skills and winning individuals and teams are rewarded by the school.
Awards are subject to the school’s discretion, but for those students who want to pursue their interest in digital solutions, CloudyGroup facilitates further, real-life, App building opportunities for them through extra-curricular work experience with CloudyGroup and local business partners.
Our work with businesses in the private and public sector, as well as with educational institutions and the local community, gives us an invaluable opportunity to support local enterprise in a socially responsible way.
At CloudyGroup, we’re proud of the strong relationships we’ve built with these stakeholders over the years, and we’re committed to supporting young people into our industry.
The second part of our school engagement programme involves us connecting with local businesses to complete the circle.
We are supporting young people with more extensive learning opportunities to help them fulfil their employment potential.
We start by taking the accomplished students from our App-Prentice Challenge and rewarding them with work experience at CloudyGroup offices to take their App proof of concept and build it in full to take back for deployment at their school. This takes place in school holidays at an appropriate time that is organised with the school and students’ families.
Following this, our links with local businesses are used to help students who wish to pursue their interest into further IT-related work experience.
A handful of Milton Keynes Parish Councils are pioneering this programme in Spring 2019 to help us connect our Coding Clubs and school engagement technology projects with careers support from local enterprise.
We’re proud to be working with Wolverton Parish Council on the first project, where a selection of our App-Prentice Challenge 2018 winning students have been invited to work on developing an App in collaboration with the Council and local community.
Students are able to engage with new technology, Microsoft tools and career opportunities they might not otherwise have access to
Students experience a different way of learning that affords them more freedom, has a practical application and gives them new interactions with the digital world and people they don’t normally work with.
Students learn crucial skills that they cannot learn from a textbook that are applicable to the modern, digital workplace
All students, regardless of gender and social background, are given the same opportunity to meet professionals in a variety of fields that will help widen their view and experience of the world of work.
Students are rewarded with support from a network of local businesses and educational partners that has the potential to give them greater career advantages for entering the tech industry
Students are given real-life insight into how businesses work from a supported environment (alongside their peers)
Students are given the opportunity to experience new & specialist tech, business disciplines & careers guidance
An exercise to assist the school in building on core competencies through practical application using outside professionals for career role models
The legacy of building an App can extend beyond the Year 10 group to the wider school
Relationships are made with local enterprise that can be built upon by the school in the future
All parties are working collaboratively to support tomorrow’s workforce to the benefit of everyone involved
Local businesses are supporting a community engagement initiative that provides enriched learning opportunities for students and valuable long-term relationships between schools and businesses
Results-based partnerships are formed and grow through continual improvement of these work experience opportunities
From working with programme partners, students are inherently more supportive of local businesses and the work Parish Councils do, which can also make them more community-minded overall
Councils and local businesses benefit from having enthusiastic young people working with them and integrating into their work culture that ultimately makes them more employable in future
The App-Prentice Challenge was piloted in 2018 with The Mandeville School in Aylesbury.
The programme encourages young people to develop and celebrate their digital skills and supports their career aspirations in tech by giving them direct access to a range of education and local business partners with whom future work experience relationships can be built.
The programme is available to Key Stage 4 students in schools all over Buckinghamshire as a practical solution to help inspire our next generation of IT, design, marketing and project management entrepreneurs.
2019 marks a bigger and continually improving programme as we welcome new ventures with new educational and local enterprise business partners across Buckinghamshire – including: more schools, The University of Buckingham, Study Hire, the Peter Jones Foundation and local Parish Councils in Milton Keynes.
We’re inspiring the next generation into computing and learning to code with Office 365 power apps.
Our school engagement programme gives young people a rewarding head-start on vital work and life skills by providing a unique opportunity to work with the latest Microsoft technology and experts who use it for everyday business.
We’re helping young people to prepare
for the world of work
Our school workshops engage students in finding digital solutions that challenge them to develop their business technology and employment skills