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From Classroom to Cockpit: Preparing Our Students for the Race of the Future

Pupil Referral Unit
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Leadership & Implementation
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Opinion Piece
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Chris Goodall

Head of Digital Education, Bourne Education Trust

In a world likened to high-speed racing, are we preparing our youth adequately? This piece draws parallels between training racers and re-imagining education. It calls for an educational revamp that emphasises adaptability, strategy, and resilience. As we'd prep young racers for the track, we should equip students for future challenges.

What if we knew that when children reached the aged of 13, everyday they would have to drive hi-tech, top of the range, racing cars at break neck speeds around the world's toughest race tracks?

How and when would we start to prepare them?

We would teach them deep technical knowledge about the car, how it performed,its design, its tolerances and how to drive safely.

We would teach them track knowledge to help them understand how the car would react to the different bends and straights on the circuits. When they could go flat out and when to be more cautious and slow down and how to follow the racing line.

We would teach them race strategy and tactics. We would get them to plan ahead for the future. Monitoring fuel and wear and tear on their tyres so they can finish the race in the best position possible.

We would teach them how to master the nuances of controlling their car under various conditions, including changing environments such as weather conditions.

We would prepare them mentally, so they could stay focused and make the right decisions about how to drive the car under pressure.

Knowing that they would be climbing into this cockpit at 13 we would start teaching them to drive at an early age in much slower and safer vehicles gradually building them for the moment they arrive on the grid.

The road ahead is uncertain. But what is certain is that we are now preparing students to drive something much more powerful.

In education, we are stuck doing endless laps of the same track. Its time to take a pit stop, review our race tactics, change the tyres and refuel.

We need to make sure our students are in pole position. For them, the race has already started!

Key Learning