A Dane Court Grammar School teacher, Ceri Diffley, has been recognised for her outstanding work with our students studying Business and Finance subjects.
Ceri has just won Personal Finance Teacher of the Year 2018, sponsored by Moneywise. She was nominated by two of her students; testament to Ceri's enthusiastic and engaging approach to teaching. Read her story here.
One Saturday in November, I was cleaning my kitchen, listening to Money Box live and they said they were going to do a Christmas Special asking 'Why, if finance is so important to all our lives, and so many young people are now in debt, is it not taught in schools?' I thought to myself, We teach it at Dane Court!
In the sixth form, we teach both the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) Certificate and Diploma in Financial Studies. Also, as part of the Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business, we teach a Business and Personal Finance unit. However, Finance Awareness is also an integral part of the Dane Court Grammar School 's innovative 'International Citizenship Enrichment' (ICE) programme throughout the school. Students learn about finance from year 7 as part of the ICE Business of Enterprise unit and in year 10 Financial Awareness course, teaching students life skills in effective money management and debt avoidance. So, I phoned into the Radio 4 show to tell them of all the good work we do and invited them to come and see.
Imagine my surprise when they took me up on my offer and invited Dane Court to feature on the show. Then, in April, the people from Radio 4 Money Box sent me an email to say that Moneywise Magazine was looking for nominations for this prize. I happened to open it during a Finance lesson and told the students about it and they asked me to forward the email to the class. Unbeknown to me, two of my students, Darcie Teal and Sam Pratt, took it upon themselves to send in nominations, and it went from there.
Having been nominated, I was asked to complete an application form about how we teach Finance at Dane Court School and in June, I was told we had been shortlisted for the prize and invited to attend The MoneyWise Customer Service 2018 awards in Central London on Thursday 7 June. I nearly didn't go, after all, it was a school night! But Mrs Linton said she'd come too and I am so glad I did.
It is a privilege to work for such a forward thinking innovative school that gives us the autonomy to develop the curriculum in this way. Working closely with the Head of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), Mrs Linton, who also has a background in Business before teaching, we have developed what I believe is a fantastic offering; both educating students to achieve their potential in academic qualifications, as well as helping prepare them for the world of work. These are real life skills they are developing. Indeed, the two students who travelled to London to represented Dane Court in the Radio 4, Money Box Live phone-in are moving forward with their career plans. Charlie Summers has secured a higher-level apprenticeship with Kreston Reeves Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisors and Kiera Lennon has being invited for interviews with Hiscox, Barclays and Microsoft. Similarly, we took Connor Griffiths’ (who joined Dane Court in Sixth form from King Ethelbert School) and the rest of his class to Canary Wharf. Sitting in the Board Room with panoramic views of the modern-day UK financial industry, Connor said to me 'I'll be back'. True to his word, Connor is now completing a Business Management Degree at Royal Holloway University with an internship in a Wealth Management Company. Other trips have included visits to the Institute of the European Union in Belgium to see parliament in action, the Bank of England museum and a guided tour of the original City of London to see the coffee houses where the financial industry began. This is in addition to speakers visiting the school, such as Grant Thorton, HSBC and Pfizer and all IBCP students embarking on 3-month internships of one day a week in industry so they can experience the world of work first hand. What teacher would not be proud of these students pushing their boundaries and developing the skills they need for the future in this way?