New Bridge School, part of the New Bridge Group, is a state-of-the-art secondary special school in Oldham, developed to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). It has created an exciting Turing Scheme project that will see 20 of its students travel to Chicago in early 2022 to present their micro-business and gain insights from some of the giants of the tech world.
Power of technology
Daniel Wood, Executive Director of the New Bridge Multi Academy Trust said: “Our Turing Scheme project, ‘Enabling entrepreneurship through tech’, focuses on the transformative power of technology, something we very much understand at New Bridge.
“We believe technology enables young people to live and thrive independently and we have embraced it across the board to inspire student creativity, collaboration, and confidence. In 2019, in partnership with Apple, we adopted the innovative use of iPads throughout our schools where every student and teacher has access to their own iPad, making us the first SEND Academy in the UK to partner with Apple in this way.”
Presenting to partner peers
The school’s Turing Scheme project builds on this belief and will support pupils and their teachers to travel to its partner school, Ridgewood High School, in Chicago. Like New Bridge, Ridgewood places a strong focus on technical and entrepreneurial skills and is recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for its ‘continual innovation in learning, teaching and the school environment’.
Daniel said: “At Ridgewood, pupils will share with peers the award-winning, digitally enabled ‘social entrepreneur’ model that has seen them plan, create, develop, promote and operate, as a group, their own successful not-for-profit micro-businesses. They will present their most recent social business to their peers and will in turn be supported by their host students in developing an app to drive the business forward.”
Gaining insights from tech business giants
Chicago is a major hub for some of the biggest names in the tech industry, such as Apple, Google, LinkedIn and Salesforce. Supported by tech industry professionals from across this thriving sector, students will workshop practical skills using the most recent apps and functionality designed to support the full business cycle, from planning to delivery.
“The two-week mobility will see students from both schools visit local global tech companies to continue their entrepreneurial learning journey within a corporate setting,” said Daniel.
“Pupils will gain insights into marketing with campaign managers and examine new business products with innovation teams. At the end of the fortnight, students will present their business plans and project learning to their corporate hosts, before bringing their new skills and knowledge home to their respective school communities in Oldham and Chicago.”
Pupil benefits for the future
The project will dovetail with New Bridge’s mission to create ‘Meaningful Futures’ for all its students.
“Participants in this aspirational project will gain increased knowledge and skills in digital technology and entrepreneurship as well as enhanced social and communication skills, through the planned presenting, collaborative working and peer mentoring. A project like this can be life-changing, broadening horizons and raising aspirations, as well as enhancing work/life prospects.
“Through our Turing Scheme project New Bridge will gain ground-breaking new teaching and learning practices. We will also strengthen our international peer networks and enhance partnership opportunities with Apple Distinguished Schools internationally. New skills and role models will inspire the group’s entire learning community,” concluded Daniel.
Want to find out more about schools that have received Turing Scheme funding? Visit our funding results page.