Since investing in FutureSelves earlier this year Wanganui City College has taken five Year Ten classes (aged 14) and at risk students of Year’s 12 and 13 through FutureSelves. Wanganui City College bought FutureSelves in order to improve student’s motivation and direction.
Immediate benefits have been better student and parent engagement with education.
Wanganui City College is a low decile school in a provincial New Zealand city. Many students have low levels of ambition, lack support and encouragement, and have not responded well to traditional teaching environments.
Bob Wilson, Careers Advisor at the College, completed the training early in Term 2 and is the FutureSelves change agent in the school. Bob works in the schools TransEd Centre and has a particular interest in working with young people.
Students complete the questionnaire and the Youth Engagement Workbook over 5-6 classes. Bob says students had a “great session” in the first class he took through. The secret to making that first class go well was lots of talking and enthusiasm.
Students were excited about returning in a few days to get their FutureSelves questionnaire results and start on the Workbook. Bob used the ‘jobs by interest’ careers services booklet for those students that struggled to identify a job from their career options.
After the first class had completed their Workbooks, some students took their questionnaire results home. Four parents contacted Bob and asked to meet in order to discuss the results, as they were very interested in the suggested directions FutureSelves had indicated for their children.
Bob says “As well as being a great focus for the students, FutureSelves has helped constructively engage parents in their children’s education and future”.
Mr Wilson now plans to invite other parents to come and talk about their children’s results.
Bob says “FutureSelves has really got the students talking” about their careers and life ahead. On top of this, FutureSelves gives students the opportunity to look at what they want in their future.
Mr Wilson has several ideas on how to expand FutureSelves use in the college. One is using the tool with staff as part of their professional development. Another is using FutureSelves as the basis of individual learning plans for each student in the school. Already he has adapted the way the Workbooks is used to the way he finds works best.
Dr Geoff Plimmer says FutureSelves is looking forward to working with Bob on further innovations. “People like Bob – who can find new, practical approaches, and adapt programmes to local needs and contexts – are what is needed in the education sector. We hope to learn a lot from Bob’s experience.”