Photo gallery: Pupils improve communication skills at ground-breaking event

School children at work on their presentations with business mentors, as part of the Pecha Kucha workshops held at Norwich City Academy. City Academy students, from left, Chloe Boland, 13; Sophie Erskine, 11; Caitlin Parker, 11; and Lennon Newitt-Spinks, 12. Picture: Denise Bradley School children at work on their presentations with business mentors, as part of the Pecha Kucha workshops held at Norwich City Academy. City Academy students, from left, Chloe Boland, 13; Sophie Erskine, 11; Caitlin Parker, 11; and Lennon Newitt-Spinks, 12. Picture: Denise Bradley

Friday, July 4, 2014
2:58 PM

A Japanese style of producing quick-fire presentations has inspired a group businesses, and the schools they are partnered with, to hold an event to improve the communication skills of a dozens of pupils.

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School children at work on their presentations with business mentors, as part of the Pecha Kucha workshops held at Norwich City Academy. Wayland Academy students from left, Brayden Frost, 13; Lewis North, -3; Ryan Parodi, 13; and Liam Bardell, 13; with Sophie Urry, from Archant. Picture: Denise BradleySchool children at work on their presentations with business mentors, as part of the Pecha Kucha workshops held at Norwich City Academy. Wayland Academy students from left, Brayden Frost, 13; Lewis North, -3; Ryan Parodi, 13; and Liam Bardell, 13; with Sophie Urry, from Archant. Picture: Denise Bradley

Groups of 11 to 13-year-olds from Wayland Academy, Sewell Park College, Open Academy and Sprowston High School joined others at City Academy Norwich to pick up tips on pecha kucha.

The concept involves a small number of slides being displayed for 15 seconds at a time to encourage brief, snappy presentations.

The groups were given an hour to plan their own presentations on topics ranging from women’s rights, social media and music in the classroom, before presenting them to the audience in a competition.

Sarah Pitt, a teacher at the Wayland Academy in Watton, said: “The main thing for me is them seeing real people from real-world jobs and getting first-hand experience of how you become, say, an accountant. I think it’s seeing that aspirational figure.”

The companies are part of Business Class, a national schools programme which sets up long-term partnerships between schools and businesses, which has been running in the Norwich area for about a year.

Representatives from KLM, BAM Nuttall, Smurfit Kappa Cor-Trade, Archant, Marsh, LSI Architects, Capita and Mills & Reeve took part.

James Hunter, partner at Mills & Reeve, said: “What impressed me was that it was pretty hard work to turn up in that environment, and I thought that when it came to the presentations they did not really seem to be very intimidated by it.”

A team from Sewell Park College won the contest.

Rachel Watson, education manager for Norwich Business Class, said: “It came out of a business skills meeting of representatives of all the businesses that were there today, and the schools they are partnered with.

“The businesses all agreed one of the key issues when they recruit young people is often their communication skills and presentation skills are not as good as they should be, and they are a really important set of skills for all areas of work.”

She added: “I thought they worked very well together to develop some really striking, thoughtful presentations.

“I actually thought ‘If I was an employer, I would be really glad there are these young people in Norwich with these skills and that level of thoughtfulness about these serious issues’.”

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