Why It’s Important for Children to Learn Life Skills

January 30, 2017 by Minerva Tutors,

At the Minerva Me Club, we shape every week around fun, innovative and important learning outside the classroom, in a lively and engaging environment. We run all of our afternoon workshops with the aim to developing some of the most important skills that can’t always be learnt in school, to help pupils get ahead in the future. This can include oration and public speaking, leadership, teamwork, British and global etiquette and manners and Shakespeare.  


But why are these skills important?

As students get older, they will have to start thinking about summer jobs, university choices and even potential career paths. University admissions officers and the chairman of the Career Colleges Trust have separately stated they believe that schools do not adequately prepare students for life, with 76% of pupils saying their school only trains them to pass exams, without preparing them for the world of work. Pupils must ensure they are ready to think and learn independently, while also learning how to work effectively as part of a team, and these are the skills we gear our workshops towards.  

Our sessions on oration and public speaking can help give children the ability to research an idea, get their thoughts in order, identify the most important aspects of what they are saying and present with energy and confidence. This is something that is barely touched on in schools, with only a single GCSE English module (‘speaking and listening’) addressing it. Whether it comes in handy in university and job interviews, tutorial presentations or business meetings, presenting an idea convincingly is a brilliant life-long skill.

Likewise, if you have never learnt how to show leadership or be a team player, the world of work promises untold difficulty and frustration. Our teamwork workshop encourages creative problem solving in a group dynamic, where every child has a chance to have their ideas taken into account, and be an effective part of a team. Similarly, the leadership workshop can help teach students how to take charge of a situation, lead effectively, and inspire devotion and support from the rest of your team. Most children will instinctively know the importance of these qualities, as they will likely have seen both positive and ineffective leaders, and been part of strong or malfunctioning teams. However, learning how to manifest these skills is easier said than done, and that’s exactly what these workshops are all about.  

This is particularly important when you consider that today’s teenagers will be graduating into a world of work where an increasing number of jobs – up to 80% – could be automated, and personal skills are becoming more and more important. But the most amazing aspect is how thoroughly one workshop can transform a pupil: at Me Club last summer, we had a young girl who was deeply shy and afraid of public speaking, who ended up giving an impassioned, detailed speech to the whole group about the importance global conservation.  



What else will they learn?

It was William Horman, a 15th century headmaster of both Eton and Winchester, who coined the term “manners maketh man”, and the words still ring true today. Our British and global manners and etiquette workshops are perfect for students who – for all their brilliant qualities – may not be familiar with some of these customs. This is especially useful for foreign students who may be looking to work or study in the UK in the future, to learn what an employer or admissions officer may expect from them. There’s even (fairly depressing) evidence to suggest that accents and mannerisms can impact university and career prospects in the UK – irrespective of qualifications – so understanding the local customs and conventions is always a bonus in a competitive market!

Students and Me Club leaders will share their experiences and knowledge of different customs from around the world, and learn how to be true ‘global citizens.’ Groups may be split up for some parts of the workshop, or have a slightly different emphasis on what they are learning, according to age differences, the group’s priorities, and their level of familiarity with English language and culture.

However, our favourite workshop is usually the Shakespeare workshop, which goes hand-in-hand with our guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, on London’s Southbank. This involves vocal exercises, warm-up games and reading through a script with a Shakespearean actor – who also conducts the tour – which never disappoints! Whether a child is hoping to study English literature, live in the UK in the future, or simply broaden their cultural knowledge, The Bard is probably the best place to start. From dialogue, character and history to the fundamentals of structure and storytelling, the Me Club Shakespeare workshop never fails to inform and entertain. Indeed, the performance aspect can also help students who haven’t been exposed to much drama to express themselves on stage!

All of the Me Club lessons and workshops are also tied into cultural trips around some of London’s most exciting landmarks and attractions, to give each group a truly immersive learning experience.


How can I book?

Me Club is running for two weeks in the Easter holidays, for the weeks commencing April 3rd and 10th, and we are also taking enquiries about our Summer programme. We take group bookings, and are happy to devise a bespoke programme for groups who want a specific focus for their learning. Depending on the numbers involved, we can even organise a full programme with meals, accommodation and evening entertainment.
To enquire, just call the Temple of Minerva on 0208 819 3276, or download a Me Club brochure from our website.

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