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Girls’ Day School Trust & Discovery Education inspire future digital leaders
Girls’ Day School Trust & Discovery Education inspire future digital leadersGirls’ Day School Trust & Discovery Education inspire future digital leadersGirls’ Day School Trust & Discovery Education inspire future digital leaders

The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) Digital Leaders Conference, held in South Hampstead on Monday brought together over 150 UK students, their teachers, and industry mentors to compete in a uniquely inspiring digital business challenge.

The buzz and anticipation was palpable as over 150 girls from 22 schools across the UK began filling South Hampstead High School hall on Monday 9th February. Ian Livingstone CBE opened the event, sharing his career story from designing the paper-based Dungeons & Dragons game through opening Games Workshop to launching the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider video games. Ian highlighted the huge talent that the UK has in the creative industries and how by increasing our skills in computer science we can lead the world in digital innovation. Children are incredibly comfortable using technology but if they don’t understand how they work it’s like we’re teaching them to read but not write.

Cat Scutt, Head of Creative Teaching & Learning at GDST explained - “The event was designed to help girls in our schools to use and build on their innovation and teamwork skills, and really see themselves as ‘digital leaders’ in their schools and more widely.

Each team had to come up with a brand new digital product or service and work out how they would successfully take it to market. Industry mentors from Discovery Education, Morgan Stanley and Firefly amongst others, were each assigned to work with a specific team providing expertise in marketing, digital production and finance. Students also attended masterclasses throughout the day on topics including user-centred design and the perfect elevator pitch. Cat explained the rationale behind the challenge - “Designing a digital product or service was a great way for our girls to demonstrate a range of transferable skills including creativity, teamwork, presentation skills and financial planning, and the activity also encouraged them to think about the impact of technology on their daily lives and how they can use it to their advantage.

Sophie, a student from Bromley High School said “It’s been a very good day, I’ve really enjoyed it, especially getting to know my team – we learned a lot about team working!

The students presented their prototypes in an exhibition at the end of the day, along with their financial and marketing plans, and promotional tools like adverts and websites. Sheffield High School’s Dream Pillow, an incredibly well-researched product, was the overall winner, with South Hampstead High School taking the people’s choice award with Safe Step, and Bromley High School snapping up the best app prize for Appetizer.

Discovery Education was thrilled to be involved in such a great learning event. Christine Major, Director of Professional Development said “We had six female mentors there and we all thoroughly enjoyed supporting the students. We’re also delighted that the overall winning team from Sheffield will join us at Discovery Communications head-quarters in London to create their own video news story about the event.

Cat concludes – “The technology industry offers so many career opportunities in a huge range of different roles and contexts – hopefully some of the girls who attended will become the digital leaders of the future.

 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education empowers teachers and captivates pupils by providing high-quality, dynamic, digital content to primary and secondary schools across the United Kingdom.

Discovery Education offers a range of services and opportunities for schools to meet the needs of students in the digital age. With award-winning digital content, interactive lessons, virtual experiences with some of Discovery's most talented presenters and contributors, classroom contests and challenges, professional development and more.

Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications, the number one non-fiction media company in the world, which includes the popular global television networks Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Animal Planet.

For more information about Discovery Education’s Professional Development Programme and other services and resources, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk.

 

About Girls’ Day School Trust

The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) is the leading group of independent girls’ schools in the UK, with nearly 4,000 staff and 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18. As a charity that owns and runs a family of 24 schools and two Academies in England and Wales, it reinvests all its income in its schools. Founded in 1872, the GDST has a long history of pioneering innovation in the education of girls.

For more details about GDST schools, please go to www.gdst.net and follow us on Twitter @GDST.