Friday Mindset #82

Free resources, fresh ideas, sessions and offers

Happy Friday, good people.

Here we all are, shoulder-to-shoulder, staring in open-mouthed wonder at sixteen beautiful days away from the chalkface! But before we all go... just resist that marshmallow for a few minutes longer. We've got things to share. Stay focused, behave yourselves, and we'll give you two marshmallows by the end of this week's newsletter*

Deal. Let's dive in.

Something to try...

More this week from Daniel Green, our melliflouous voice of reason in a chaotic world!

Daniel helps run a comprehensive school sixth form in Wales, has overcome structural and timetabling challenges by - clever, this - turning some of our VESPA activities into insightful, meditative 'thought-for-the-day' sound files so that tutor groups can all listen and reflect. They're short, one-to-two minute long talks, and we've found them really good listens. We've chatted with Daniel and he's very generously allowed us to share some. Such is the supportive spirit of the teaching community. Thanks Daniel!

Two more to add to last week's - first is "Niche", Daniel's vision talk about areas of expertise, a great introduction to the wild and exciting array of university courses on offer. It goes well with out 'A-Z of University Courses' activity, which we shared some time ago now:

And the second is "The Mission Control Mindset", an introduction to Professor Richard Wiseman's study of mission control scientists which we shared with you some months ago. Check it out:

So Daniel, a huge thank you for your generosity. And for something else too; your creativity and ability to find away through a structural/logistical obstacle in order to deliver these ideas. Your work here is a great example of how "the obstacle is the way." Cheers!

And if anyone else has VESPA-related projects, resources or ideas they'd like us to share, get in touch at [email protected]; we'd be happy to look them over and figure out where we might be able to fit them in.

Something we're reading...

Two articles on screen-time and brain function this week - both well-worth sharing with classes immediately after the Easter break. We think that first week back might be the ideal time for a spring-clean of habits, routines and study spaces. We'll be emphasising the importance of going dark, building levels of concentration, and stripping phones of their most time-consuming and addictive apps. (It needn't be forever! Students can set a post-exam date at which normal service is resumed.)

It's gonna be tough persuading them, so these articles will certainly help get some of them working more effectively. Share them in tutor group sessions, discuss and reflect. First up, this piece on screen-time and its effect on brain structure and concentration span is a worrying wake-up call...

And secondly, a Wall Street Journal piece that focuses specifically on TikTok:

Our latest offer...

The Summer term beckons! It's that time of year where our thoughts inevitably turn to next year. How can we do things better? Are there any tweaks we can make that have a positive impact? How can we support vulnerable cohorts that we know are going to struggle next year? Or give our coaching programme a boost?

We think the VESPA psychometric might be one of the answers you need. Imagine a student you want to help has taken our 28 item questionnaire and is sitting down with you for a conversation, bringing their report with them...

You're in a great position to begin a conversation about ways forward.

And remember, you don't have to go whole-hog and buy the programme outright for all students; it could be a tool you use to support a small number. Tony can talk you though options, no obligations. If you'd like a chat sometime in the coming term, you can book a short appointment here:

And that's it, folks. We made it! Pack your bags and get yourself to a beach/campsite/AirBnB somewhere. Put your feet up, read a book. Drink good coffee, consume calorific pastries - marshmallows even - and make sure you buy unnecessary holiday-related tat you'll later throw out.

See you on the first Friday back. All the best to you and yours,

Martin, Steve and Tony

*We actually won't. Sorry.