TWKS have been privileged to bring together two of our clients: Ogilvy & Mather UK and Bishop Challoner Collegiate in a ground-breaking scheme to help nurture the next generation of talent and support the building of diversity. You can read the formal press release on WPP (Ogilvy & Mather’s parent) website.
The photograph featured here above was taken at the official launch of the scheme at Ogilvy & Mather’s UK headquarters at Canary Wharf on 24th January 2013. It features Bishop Challoner pupils with Dowshan Humzah, Director of Digital Development and Consultancy, Julia Ingall, Group HR Director of Ogilvy & Mather UK; Jackie Johnson, Bishop Challoner’s Executive Principal and Nick Soar, Head of Bishop Challoner’s Girls’ School.
As background, TWKS had delivered bespoke social media workshops for Ogilvy & Mather’s creative team during 2012 to help build understanding and deliver insights using social media. For Bishop Challoner, we developed the ‘Social Media Fundamentals’ course which was recognised as the UK’s first GCSE social media course – and, more importantly, supporting GCSE English attainment. We subsequently delivered more workshops to pupils on using social media to aid literacy and aspiration.
Ogilvy is one of the most respected brands in advertising and has a roster of some of the ‘bluest’ of blue-chip companies. However, what stuck us the most was their commitment to develop the next generation of talent and encourage greater diversity in their industry. This resonates well with our passion for working in schools and providing ‘access to opportunity’. All too often ‘access to opportunity’ is limited to the privileged, well-resourced or well-networked few. We were able to recommend Bishop Challoner to Ogilvy as a school in their Borough (Tower Hamlets) drawing on local pupils. In addition, Bishop Challoner continues to make great progress in attainment with record numbers of pupils excelling in their exams. This partnership with Ogilvy helps to provide higher levels of aspiration and insights for their students to take their first steps in the modern workplace.
This partnership is unique in its integrated and long-term nature – certainly for an organisation that is not an official sponsor of an Academy or a School. Ogilvy wanted to build ‘something special’ in its local community and to take a long-term view. Their Emerging Talent Programme with Bishop Challoner covers four key areas: work experience placements, mentoring, agency experience days and in-school careers clinics. This provides some of the extra-curricular experience, mentoring and ‘access to opportunity’ that many pupils from challenging backgrounds just do not have and may just be the platform some of the aspiring students at Bishop Challoner need to launch their professional careers.
When we worked with Bishop Challoner, as with all schools, we emphasised that digital and social media tools do not replace traditional methods but sit alongside them. Students must have a good grasp of literacy and numeracy to use digital and social media techniques effectively in both the classroom and the workplace. We have helped both teachers and trainee teachers with this message (read more here about our work as visiting lecturers at Goldsmiths, University of London).
The innovative teaching methods employed by Bishop Challoner and this partnership with Ogilvy will help to bring the curriculum to life – producing engaging lessons, helping students to understand the full potential of digital and social media tools and bridge the gap between what they learn at school and the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
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