Let's face it, not every child is made to fit a 'standard system'. Some talents simply cannot be measured by league tables.
It's no big secret that our standard national curriculum measures just one form of intelligence, which can either boost or quash confidence based on personal DNA.
It was Albert Einstein who once said,
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
This insightful analogy has been used within the context of education for over 100 years to highlight the limitations of one single inflexible standard for assessing the achievement of young people with distinctly different skills and abilities.
Einstein illustrated that young people who struggle in a mainstream setting are not an indication of failure or a sign that they are less worthy or capable of great success. It only means that they are yet to be afforded the time and opportunity to demonstrate their own unique qualities.
Why does this matter?
When young people find themselves at the low end of educational achievement for whatever reason, an inevitable cycle kicks in. The pressure to do better, the feeling of being too far behind to catch up, the sense of not being good enough, can all lead to an overwhelming feeling of impossibility and hopelessness.
From a young person’s perspective, what is the point in trying your utmost when your greatest effort will produce average results at best, yet still fall short of the academic bar of promise for an optimistic, potential-reaching and secure future?
Anger, frustration and futility, combined with low self-confidence and self-worth and low aspirations, often shaped by socioeconomic status, can inevitably fuel disruption and lead to school attendance issues - which fuse together, triggering a lack of commitment to learning.
Trying to encourage and force engagement to secure incremental improvement on something that ultimately feels futile is unlikely to yield effective, long-term results that set young people up for success.
It’s time for a different approach.
Our career coaching programme turns traditional wisdom on its head
The Porcupine Collective believes in fairness and opportunity. We think it is only fair that every young person has the opportunity to demonstrate (and be commended for) their own unique talents.
Through our positive programme of first-class coaching, we bring an equilibrium to the current education system by boosting the confidence of those whose talents reach beyond traditional subjects and standards - talents that cannot be measured by traditional quantifiable methods.
Setting grades aside, we work with young people to discover and build upon their true abilities, drivers and interests; using them to inject clarity and focus around their ideal career. We instil belief in their purpose, ability and potential; providing practical, concrete steps towards a hopeful and fulfilling future.
We empower young people who are currently cast in the shadows to shine their light on the world.
We work in collaboration with professionals, parents and young people to identify suitable candidates for our 10-week one-to-one coaching programme.
Through one-to-one coaching, we deploy tools and techniques drawn from the latest advances in strengths-science and positive psychology to establish what makes a young person unique, valuable and valued through the identification of their strengths, skills, passions and values
Once their unique qualities are clear, we GO BIG on helping young people actually connect to these attributes and talents to ensure they acknowledge and believe in them. It’s not enough to be told you’re good at something, you have to truly feel it for it to have an impact and inspire action. Without belief, young people will not strive to achieve their desired goals.
Once a connection has been made, we use this intelligence to shape and direct a young person’s ideal career path based on who they really are, what they are good at, what they are interested in and what they really care about. These tenets foster excitement and deeper commitment to the end goal.
We then work with young people to develop an 'Alternative CV’ that helps present individuals beyond their credentials, both to themselves, recruiters and prospective employers.
Our model matches the gifts and talents of young people with the specific needs of the business community to maximise performance and results, bringing a sense of positivity, security and fulfilment for all
We evaluate our impact and effectiveness through ongoing formative and summative evaluation methods and share the outcome with others to improve and develop careers guidance for young people nationwide.
"It's not about what's wrong, it's about asking 'what is right?'
"Each person's greatest room for growth is in the area of their greatest strength"
"When love and skill work together - expect a masterpiece!"
"When we use values to make decisions, we make a deliberate choice to focus on what is important to us"
“Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”
"Be yourself, everyone else is taken"