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September 2015

Issue 38

schools, allowing students to apply

academic subjects to project-based

work, based on the real world.

Available in Levels 1, 2 and 3, the

DEC! programme is equivalent to

GCSE A*-C and A level A*-E and has

recently been accredited by UCAS

too so that it can be counted for

university applications.

One of the great things is that kids

are working with current tools

such as BIM and total stations as

part of the curriculum. Some of

them going on to professional

apprentices, already well prepared.

Though schools can be reluctant

to try new programmes for fear of

dropping grades, those that do are

reaping the benefits. “All learners

can link into it, whether they are

applied or academic learners,”

explains Class of Your Own’s Laraine

Lindsey. “Schools are finding that

it leads to individual improvement

which is what schools are marked


Class of Your Own’s

website has

some great testimonials from a

number of schools. Rachel Carter,

head of Compton School’s product

design, talks about how much

enthusiasm all the 46 Year 9 kids

have that she teaches DEC! to and

says that the programme’s biggest

success has been to give the girls

confidence in their abilities to

carry out tasks such as presenting,

surveying and design.

Surrey-based SATRO, a charity

whose aim is to inspire young

people about future careers, started


mobile classroom programme

around seven years ago, initially

teaching building services related

skills. “Construction firms were

telling us that they were not

getting the right people through

with the right skills,” says SATRO

CEO Dr Beccy Bowden.

This led to the discovery that

this style of teaching was very

effective for certain young people.

“Almost as a happy by-product,

we discovered that this was a

really good mechanism that

engaged very disengaged kids,”

says Bowden. “Because all of our