Pupils work in teams of 5 or 6 on a client’s real business issue, over the space of one or two terms, e.g. from January to May.
The school’s project leader (usually a teacher) will source as many projects as there are teams. We would suggest starting modestly with two or three projects. Sources of projects can be organisations where parents work; where Governors work; that the school has worked with before; or local charities, councils or businesses.
A template for defining the Client Brief is provided, together with examples of other TSCS project briefs to give you an idea of what works well.
Promote the programme to pupils, usually Year 13, in the autumn term – perhaps by running an information session one lunchtime or after school. Ask for pupils to submit an application briefly outlining why they want to take part.
Invite the shortlisted pupils (maybe all of them) to an Assessment Session. Examples are available. Pupils work in teams on a very short challenge, for maybe 20 minutes, and then present back to the assessors, role playing a client. Pupils are not expected to answer the question posed, but to describe, in one to two minutes each, how their team would address the challenge.
Select pupils who will be good team players, open to learning, enthusiastic, ready to contribute time and energy, and be good ambassadors for the school.
Form the successful pupils into teams – a gender and subject (e.g. arts, sciences) mix can be helpful so the teams have a rich and wide set of experiences and skills.
Training is based around short, weekly lessons. So, if say Wednesday 2pm-4pm is set aside for TSCS, the session may start with a 30 minute lesson based on the slides provided by the programme. The rest of the session is for teams to use the materials in the lesson (e.g., developing an interview guide, analysing data, writing a proposal letter) for their own project.
Not all weekly sessions have a slide-based lesson – these are for consolidating work, interview practice, meeting with mentor, assessing progress to date, reviewing results with teachers and leaders.
Finish and present to the client
By the end of the programme, the pupil team will have assembled a written report and a presentation that you may wish to rehearse with them, that they then go on to present to their client. Typically, the presentation will be 10-15 minutes long. All team members attend (though they may not all present), and there will be 15+ minutes for discussion afterwards between all team members and the client.
Reflection and feedback
It is helpful to ask the pupils for feedback on the programme: what they have learned, how they think their skills have improved, what they will tell others etc. We can provide a template survey that others have used.
A reflection session is also helpful, especially focused on how pupils will talk about their experience at interview, with future clients, on application forms or (if Year 12s are taking part) how they will present the experience in any personal statement.