Extra School Curriculum

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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
( Whilst Lying on my back and musing about life, experiences, regrets and the detailed tapestry-esque needlework of life after my 47 years on the planet. )


If one was to have input into what elements, activities/lessons or character building experiences should be tagged onto an extra 6/12 month period onto the end of a Schools education syllabus ??

So basically - what would you choose to add onto an extra Curriculum for school leavers before they leave the secondary education system.


That is to say - what do you know or feel NOW as an adult that you think would be useful to have been taught or experienced as a 16 wide eyed Teenager about to contemplate the next step.
What things have you learnt or experienced/witnessed that would be of positive benefit to not just the Individuals but also Society as a larger factor?

Suggestions can be from personal experiences ( I wish I knew this back then... ) or taken from wider society and different countries. Can be as green and bushy as you like or not at all.

Interested in the responses. :)
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
National Service ended just two years before I would have been required to do it at eighteen. Although I was relieved at the time, I've always felt I missed out especially as the CCF had qualified me for a shoe-in for a commission.

I agree with Dwardo's suggestion except that I'd make it a full year. In 1965, Madame and I gave up our dead -end jobs in our early twenties to take a year out before my teacher training, went to London and had two jobs each working in a restaurant, saved half of what we earned and spent it on a glorious trip through Europe to get to Crete where we lived for six months in a small village before tourism had got there.

It shaped the course of our lives. However, doing it on leaving school would have saved four wasted years in a dead-end job. Interesting that both our sons did something like Dwardo suggests on leaving university. Changed the course of their lives too.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,782
2,686
S. Lanarkshire
How things really work.

How to manage income and expenditure.

Savings and lendings, thinking rationally about both.

Mortgages.
Banks, lawyers, surveyors, estate agents, et al.
Renting and Factors and rights and responsibilities.

Insurance/ Assurance (they are different things, trust me on this, I worked in the industry) and how to look for the important stuff behind the small print.

Politics and how it works....or doesn't :rolleyes:

The NHS, how it's funded, organised, etc.,

Taxation, the whys and whereofs, and an understanding of National Insurance and subsequent pension hopes.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,673
1,605
Bedfordshire
in England, people are no longer just leaving full time education at 16, they either have to go full time to college, go to an apprenticeship, or do 20+ hours volunteer work while also in part time training or education. The rest of the UK allows kids to finish with education at 16.

TeeDee,
I read your post asking what extra things we, as adults now, wish we had been taught way back when we were 16, but also as what we think would be of benefit to today's 16 year olds. I think there is a lot of difference, maybe even more difference than useful overlap.

I wish I had been taught about how investments work, stocks, shares, property, and as Toddy says, about mortgages. I waited a very long time to get on the property ladder because prices seemed to be accelerating away faster than my salary, but looking back I could have managed something and had a foot in the door. That said, I am not sure whether I would have absorbed much at 16, nor whether today's teens would absorb any more.

I think today's teens might actually benefit more from more education about the internet and digital world. When I worked with 16 year olds a few years ago I was stunned by their inability to use the internet for research. I don't mean finding scientific papers, I mean finding picture reference for our project subject. Two years, two teams of six, all volunteered for extra work, all at the tops of their classes in STEM. Then there are the problems with phone addiction, social media echo chambers, behaviour manipulation through analytics, etc etc. The world is more complicated to navigate now than it was even 10 years ago never mind when I was 16.
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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in England, people are no longer just leaving full time education at 16, they either have to go full time to college, go to an apprenticeship, or do 20+ hours volunteer work while also in part time training or education. The rest of the UK allows kids to finish with education at 16.
I absolutely agree - not many people now leave secondary school at 16 - but the curriculum of secondary education is mandated upto that point where they can make individual decisions that will then splinter off into personal life choices.

Maybe I should have rephrased it as , If there was an Extra Year added onto the Education system - How would one fill it and with what?
 

gra_farmer

Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
868
517
Kent
I was a bit different to most, I grew up on a farm so I knew what a hard day's labour was at 8 years of age when I started, and continued until the livestock side was sold when I was 17 years old. Before I was pushed out, I was managing the 700ha farm, 1600 breed ewes, top fruit and the arable side.

I have never stopped working, but regret not going to university until I was a mature student.

The important part, is that as I had life experience, I knew what I wanted to do, and didn't waste my time. I excelled and everything was related to my former experience on the farm....i ended up being a sessional lecturer and then a specialist changing and influencing policy for the UK.

The importance of experiencing the real world, to get direction is a must.
 
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TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,960
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Vantaa, Finland
How things really work.
While I agree with Toddy on her other points I'll take this one and enlarge it a bit: basic probability and statistics. They are both fairly unintuitive and a lot of things depend on them. And taught by examples not as pure math. And some screwy Bayesian examples included to show how easily we can be conned.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,782
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S. Lanarkshire
@TLM

Yes.

How we can be conned, how that happens, the ways to be critical of information and it's bias, how being conned can be avoided, how to deal with it if it does happen.

We used to teach our children to, "Look for the agenda behind the propaganda", and that includes looking with awareness at what someone is trying to 'sell' us.

Chris' comments about the changed world makes that even more relevant. It's an entirely different world in just this century compared to everything that has gone before.
 

Wander

Settler
Jan 6, 2017
763
939
Here There & Everywhere
I went to an all boys grammar school.
However, one lesson a week (it was a Friday afternoon, after a morning of maths and double latin!) we had what was called Home Economics.
It was just a single lesson (45 minutes?) and rotated between things like sewing, cooking, how to wire a plug, how to write a cheque, put up a shelf, change a car tyre, etc.
It's fair to say that a classroom of lads at a grammar school didn't have too much respect for Home Economics. In fact, I remember one person asking the headmaster (who used to teach us Social Studies) why we did Home Economics. I can't remember his exact response but it was something very much along the lines of, 'General Wolfe, Captain Scott, Edmund Hillary, and Ernest Shackleton all achieved a lot in their lives. They were capable, strong, and resourceful men who knew how to sew and cook for themselves. You will leave here capable, strong, and resourceful men who know how to sew and cook for yourselves.'
I can't pretend I cared too much for those lessons, but to this day I can sew, I can cook, and I can look after myself. And I am immensely grateful the headmaster had the foresight and courage to timetable those lessons.
I just want to know when I'll become capable, strong, and resourceful...
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Exeter
I know its my post but I'd like to suggest the following :-

Mandatory basic First Aid Training including CPR - seems more and more younger people seem to be suffering with diseases that used to be the bastion of the elderly and inactive.


Sensory Deprivation Day - To create some sense of appreciation and empathy with those less abled Teenagers would for one day navigate their school either Blindfolded , Earplugged & Earmuffed , or in the confines of a wheelchair. Hopefully this would help in creating some level of empathy towards another persons plight.


Basic Mathematical understanding towards Life - Namely understanding how Credit cards work , How Interest accrues and is difficult to pay off, what APR % is. Mortgages maybe a mindset away for most teenagers but a decent looking how Mortgages Vs Renting ( appreciate its not just an option for the majority ) and how REAL world money balancing works.



Prison Visit / Drugs Rehab Visit - I'd offer students an opportunity to visit both and speak with people who wish to share their personal experiences of both in an effort to shock-&-awe younger minds into thinking hard upon the maybe more impulsive choices we can make in life.



Public Service - maybe the term National Service puts a lot of people off , because of its militaristic roots so Public service projects providing an option of working with the elderly/healthcare , Military/Police/Fire , Environmental projects , maintaining woodlands and footpaths
 
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Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,758
701
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
I know its my post but I'd like to suggest the following :-

Mandatory basic First Aid Training including CPR - seems more and more younger people seem to be suffering with diseases that used to be the bastion of the elderly and inactive.


Sensory Deprivation Day - To create some sense of appreciation and empathy with those less abled Teenagers would for one day navigate their school either Blindfolded , Earplugged & Earmuffed , or in the confines of a wheelchair. Hopefully this would help in creating some level of empathy towards another persons plight.


Basic Mathematical understanding towards Life - Namely understanding how Credit cards work , How Interest accrues and is difficult to pay off, what APR % is. Mortgages maybe a mindset away for most teenagers but a decent looking how Mortgages Vs Renting ( appreciate its not just an option for the majority ) and how REAL world money balancing works.



Prison Visit / Drugs Rehab Visit - I'd offer students an opportunity to visit both and speak with people who wish to share their personal experiences of both in an effort to shock-&-awe younger minds into thinking hard upon the maybe more impulsive choices we can make in life.



Public Service - maybe the term National Service puts a lot of people off , because of its militaristic roots so Public service projects providing an option of working with the elderly/healthcare , Military/Police/Fire , Environmental projects , maintaining woodlands and footpaths
I’m pretty sure CPR is taught.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,449
459
-------------
How things really work.

How to manage income and expenditure.

Savings and lendings, thinking rationally about both.

Mortgages.
Banks, lawyers, surveyors, estate agents, et al.
Renting and Factors and rights and responsibilities.

Insurance/ Assurance (they are different things, trust me on this, I worked in the industry) and how to look for the important stuff behind the small print.

Politics and how it works....or doesn't :rolleyes:

The NHS, how it's funded, organised, etc.,

Taxation, the whys and whereofs, and an understanding of National Insurance and subsequent pension hopes.
That^.
Also possibly being taught how to ensure online privacy (or at the very least to understand what information we leak for companies to sell on) in the modern world.
I assume that more and more people will have issues with that over the next few years as insurance companies get access to health databases and so on.
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,449
459
-------------
Sensory Deprivation Day - To create some sense of appreciation and empathy with those less abled Teenagers would for one day navigate their school either Blindfolded , Earplugged & Earmuffed , or in the confines of a wheelchair. Hopefully this would help in creating some level of empathy towards another persons plight.
Thats an excellent suggestion and as I've been working on some offices/warehouse for a Christian book distributers some of this has come up recently.
The disabled access toilet has a nice 926 wide doorway and all tbe other doors you need to go through to get to that disabled access toilet are standard width 826s. So hard to even get to the wheelchair accessable toilet.
Then the boss of the place was in there the other day and we mentioned it, seems its fine as they don't expect any disabled people in there anyway.
Then the plumber was asking about the doc-m pack handrails (again, its disabled access stuff for the toilets) and was told to leave out as many as possible to see if they could get it past building control without em.
Didn't seem very "Christian" to me but there you go.

Basically it works the same for almost all buildings, most people don't consider disabled people unless they are one or where its mandated by law.
 
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Spirit fish

Nomad
Aug 12, 2021
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Doncaster
in England, people are no longer just leaving full time education at 16, they either have to go full time to college, go to an apprenticeship, or do 20+ hours volunteer work while also in part time training or education. The rest of the UK allows kids to finish with education at 16.

TeeDee,
I read your post asking what extra things we, as adults now, wish we had been taught way back when we were 16, but also as what we think would be of benefit to today's 16 year olds. I think there is a lot of difference, maybe even more difference than useful overlap.

I wish I had been taught about how investments work, stocks, shares, property, and as Toddy says, about mortgages. I waited a very long time to get on the property ladder because prices seemed to be accelerating away faster than my salary, but looking back I could have managed something and had a foot in the door. That said, I am not sure whether I would have absorbed much at 16, nor whether today's teens would absorb any more.

I think today's teens might actually benefit more from more education about the internet and digital world. When I worked with 16 year olds a few years ago I was stunned by their inability to use the internet for research. I don't mean finding scientific papers, I mean finding picture reference for our project subject. Two years, two teams of six, all volunteered for extra work, all at the tops of their classes in STEM. Then there are the problems with phone addiction, social media echo chambers, behaviour manipulation through analytics, etc etc. The world is more complicated to navigate now than it was even 10 years ago never mind when I was 16.
best thing for young kid is index funds theyl be close to millionaires by 30 for very modest investment in average ,low income
 

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