Business leaders from across the UK and Ireland convened on Ormiston Forge Academy recently to inspire leadership amongst girls using real-world maths and the construction industry.
Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath hosted the Maths In Action day with a group of 25 female students. High-level representation from the construction industry included Jewsons, ISG, Prologic and Protec International Ltd. Rebecca Simkins, Head of Maths at the academy, said, “It’s vitally important that we show our young women that they can be leaders, that maths is a subject for everyone and that the successful application of maths in a business environment is a key skill.”
The day kicked off with an introduction to the construction industry from Craig Mincher who is the Head of Supply Chain Systems and Process for ISG, an international construction services company delivering fit out, construction, engineering services and a range of specialist solutions. The girls then had an inspiring presentation on the challenges and benefits of being a female senior leader from Di Barnes, the National Director for Academies at Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) who sponsor Forge.
She said, “The Maths in Action day at Forge provided a fantastic opportunity for Ormiston’s future female engineers, scientists and high flyers to come together to explore real life challenges with the intention of building this amazing group of young women’s confidence. A great day was had by all.”
The students took part in a dummy reverse auction competing to win a contract. Prologic, an e-procurement company, had created the scenario especially for the day, it held many real-world challenges for the teams. During the day the students learnt about profit, loss and sustainability as well as key concepts such as the best price not always being the best fit. After a very competitive pitch and auction stage the teams picked up tips on presentation and team-work as part of their debrief with the professionals.
Craig Mincher from ISG said, “I was astounded with the ability of the students to quickly grasp business concepts, such as profit, cash, price and cost. Their logical thinking and acumen to deliver strong ‘cash-backed’ business cases, which at the same time, enhanced the customer experience, was awe-inspiring. It takes weeks for many professionally qualified business executives to grasp such concepts.”
At the start of the day 85% of students rated their confidence as a one on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being the lowest). By the end of the day 95% rated their confidence as a 4 and their desire to study A level maths had increased four-fold. Shannon Roche, 15, from Halesowen said, “I never thought I’d get this excited about Maths”. Students were joined by their parents at the end of the day, for a formal presentation, to celebrate successes and reflect on a new-found numerical passion.
Principal Andrew Burns said, “I’m passionate about maths and I know how hard it is to make it sparkle. We did that today! I’d be hard pressed to find a better example of bringing the business world into education with better results. We have a group of young women, with the potential to go to the best universities and have brilliant careers. Today we showed them that it is possible, we broke down barriers and will continue to do so with the help of our influential, caring and dedicated partners; to whom I am eternally grateful.”
As we approach the end of term and another year, I would like to thank you for your unwavering support. I would also like to keep you informed of some key dates and events coming up:
Monday 30 June: Staff training, the academy is closed for students.
Monday 7 July – Friday 11 July: Activities Week/Work Experience
Year 10 students will be involved in work experience.
Year 7, 8 and 9 students will be involved in activities in mixed age house colours, as long as they have their planner and £1 donation per family to charity for non-uniform. The donation of £1 will cover the two days.
On Monday 7 July students will be dismissed at 3.10pm.
Wednesday 9 July and Thursday 10 July will be normal academy days for Years 7, 8 and 9.
Friday 11 July, most of Years 7, 8 and 9 students will be involved in the trip to Drayton Manor, separate details sent out. Students remaining in the academy will be in full uniform and follow a normal day.
Monday 14 July: Sports Day at Hingleys
Weather permitting, we will be holding Sports Day at Hingleys from 12 midday until 3.10pm. Students will need to be in full uniform and bring their sports kit if they are competing. Students will be taking their normal lessons period 1 and 2. It would be helpful if students who purchase a school lunch bring a packed lunch, but it is not a necessity as food will be provided on the site. Students will be dismissed at 3.10pm from Hingleys. If the weather is as good as last year please send your child with a hat and sun cream.
Tuesday 15 July: Reserve Sports Day in case of inclement weather.
Friday 18 July: End of Term : Students will be dismissed at 12 midday after a celebration event.
Details of the return to the academy in September are as follows:
Monday 1 September: Academy closed to students, staff training day.
Tuesday 2 September: Academy opens at 8.30am for Year 7 and Year 12 only.
Wednesday 3 September: Academy opens at 8.30am for Year 7 and Year 12 only.
Thursday 4 September: Academy opens for all students at 8.30am.
Friday 5 September: Normal academy day.
The full academy calendar for 2014/15 will appear shortly on the academy website. We are working with a group of parents to improve communication, details will be circulated soon. Please follow us on our website, Facebook page and on Twitter to keep abreast of the most current information.
With best wishes,
Andrew Burns, Principal
Three Forge students have been selected to take part in the West Midlands Regional Athletics Championships later this month.
The Ormiston Forge Academy students will represent Sandwell Schools Athletics Association at the West Midlands Championships at Solihull Athletics Stadium on Saturday June 14th after qualifying in the Sandwell Athletics Senior Championship.
Brittany Stewart, 15, and Wesley Francis, 13, both from Old Hill, have both been selected for shot put and discus. Shannon Roche, 15, from Halesowen will take part in the triple jump.
Andrew Burns, Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy said, “Sporting triumph and academic triumph is accomplished by competing and working hard. Everyone at Forge will be cheering these talented young people on later this month. It’s a great achievement to represent your county and to have three students compete at this level is testament to our work hard, play hard philosophy.”