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  • Beth Nunn

You cannot BUILD a wall with one stone...

All around us we are witnessing rebuilding. At PIE, our focus since September has been on supporting young people get back to school and prepare for the next step of their education and career. In effect we are building a bridge with them between lockdown and the future - is this a and hopefully helping them build skills for a brighter future whilst we do.


In 2020, we are seeing ongoing and ever-changing build; we are adapting as we go. And you cannot build a wall with just one stone, we plan, we add, we supply and provide whatever is needed.


And we want to help ensure young people have the skills and the experience to build towards their own future.


New Programme Alert! Over the last few weeks, we have seen the first stone laid on our latest initiative – the BUILD Programme. Taking place simultaneously in two schools in, it is a collaboration between PIE and Bounceback Education, funded by the Youth Endowment Fund.





As they say, you cannot build a wall with one stone. And between then, PIE and Bounceback have plenty of stones and tools to use! Both PIE and Bounceback Education have extensive experience of working with pupils at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment of Training), and collectively they have worked with over 1,800 pupils over the last three years. This is in addition to experience within their teams working in inner city schools as English, Maths and Geography teachers.


In Salford and South Manchester, PIE have worked with over 500 young people – both through school and community programmes. This has not only helped PIE develop an understanding of the needs of these communities, but also helped develop a positive reputation within the areas.


With regards to the target group for this project, we are already working with them: but three years later. We hope that by working with young people in Year 9, we would reduce the NEET numbers once they leave school. We will utilise some of the past students we have worked with from these communities as role models during this programme, helping give advice and guidance to the younger students.


What is the BUILD programme?


The idea of the BUILD programme is that we will work with year 9 students to build a bridge back into formal education following the extended school closures, whilst helping build strong foundations for GCSE exams and future career prospects. We will do this by delivering a different focus each half term, each linked at building successful, confident and aspirational young people. Each of these areas have been identified as lacking in young people who have later become NEET.


The programme will include weekly one-hour classroom-based sessions, as well as half termly experience visits, that will include visits to workplaces, team building activities and cultural experiences.


The activities will include a variety of different tasks linked to a half termly focus, as well as opportunities to develop the five PIE slices (communication, digital, project management, community links and cultural capital).





Each half term would see an intro session, three week challenge/ project, visit, reflection session. The half termly off site visit to help develop wider cultural capital will be specifically linked to the current project.


The programme is already under way at Walkden Co-Op Academy, and we can't wait to start at MEA Central over the coming weeks. Our new students have a busy year ahead: we’re really looking forward to building those relationships and making a start!

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